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A ROYALTY PLAY 



Seven-Twenh-Eight 

CASTING THE BOOMERANG 

BY 

AUGUSTIN DALY 








Fitzgerald Publishing Corporation 






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L161— H41 



Seven -Twenty-Eight 

OR 

CASTING THE BOOMERANG 



JV £»mAs of CMMv, in T^r Jfcts 

(From the German of Von Schonthan) 



BY 

AUGUSTIN DALY 



As acted at Daly's Theatre for the first time^ February 24^ /883 



{Extract from Webster's Dictionary.') 

BooM-BR-ANG, H. A very singular missile weapon, used by the natives of Australia; 
when thrown from the hand, with a quick rotary motion, it describes very remarkable 
curves, according to the manner of throwing it, and finally taking a retrograde direction, 
so as to fall near the place from which it was thrown, or even very far in the rear of it. 
In iiuxperienctd hanets. the Botmurang recoils upon the thrower, sotketimes with very 
serious results. 



CorVRIGHT, 1897, BY AuGUSTIN DALY 



FITZGERALD PUBLISHING CORPORATION 

successor to 

Dick & Fitzgerald 

18 Vesey St., KeW York 



SEVEN -TWENTY- EIGHT, 

Notice. — The acting rights of this play are reserved by (he author 
Public representation of it, professional or amateur, can be made only 
with the consent of the author or his agents, and on payment of royalty. 
Application for performance should be made to Richard Dorney, i8i6 
Harrison Ave., Morris Heights, New York City. 

"Any person publicly performing or representing any dramatic or musi- 
cal composition for which a copyright has been obtained, without the con- 
sent of the proprietor of said dramatic or mi^sical composition, or his heirs 
or assigns, shall be liable for damages therefor, such damages in all cases 
to be assessed at such sum, not less than one hundred dollars for the first 
and fifty dollars for every subsequent performance, as to the court shall 
appear to be just. If the unlawful performance and representation be 
wilful and for profit, such person or persons shall be guilty of a misde- 
meanor and upon conviction be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 
one year. " — U.S. Revised Statutes, Tiile 60, chapter 3, section 4966. 



DRAMATIS PERSONS AND ORIGINAL CAST. 

COURTNEY CORLISS, a gentleman of leisure, •with a theory concerning boomerangs ; 

employing his idle time in the pleasant pursuit of hunting a face, Mr. John Drew. 
MR. LAUNCELOT 'S.A^GVS,^, a retired party who becomes the victim of the inev- 

itable, and is bound, Mazeppa-like, to his wife's hobby , . . Mr. James Lewis. 
PAUL HOLLYHOCK, his son-in-law, devoted to his potato-beds until the Tempter 

comes Mr. Yorkb Stephens. 

SIGNOR PALMIRO 'Y PM^Vi^\^\, late Maitre de Ballet, Covent Garden, now on 

a mission and searching for an original Mr. William Gilbert. 

A POSTMAN, ON HIS ROUND Mr. E. T. Webber. 

PROFESSOR GASLEIGH, inventor and founder of a refuge for the outcasts of the 

/*"* Mr. Charles Leclercq. 

JOBBINS, Hollyhock's farmer Mr. W. H. Beekman. 

^^?' , HYPATIA BARGISS, a lady possessed of ancestors, aspirations, and a 

«^*'^ • Mrs. G. H. Gilbert. 

^^^"'^ HOLLYHOCK, her daughter, with a grievance, and who becomes at once her 

husbands tempter and victim Miss Virginia Dreher. 

FLOS, the much sought " 7-20-8 " Miss Ada Reman. 

I'S'^^ilE., with yearnings beyond lier station . Miss Helen Levton. 

The action of the first and second acts passes at Bargiss's country place, 
somewhere in the Empire State. 

The action of the third and fourth acts passes in the city near Central 
Park. 

Act I.— The Theory of the Boomerang. The Search is begun, and 
the " Scattered Leaflets " arrive. 

^^^^?"T'^"^ Serpent in the Garden. Serpent — Mr. Gasleigh. 
The boomerangs are cast. 

^^'^ }}}' —'^^'^^^'^^^"^'^^^ OF THE Metropolis. The Drama of the 
Missmg Lamp and the Romance of the Forsaken ! A novel illumi- 
nation. 

Act IV. — The Boomerang's Return. His Lordship proposes, and 
Destmy is fulfilled. v v v > *»* 

Time of Representation. — Two Hours and a Half^ 



0%l. COSTUMES. 

Corliss. Acts I. and 11. — Fashionable summer suit (sack coat); straw 
hat. Act III. — Evening suit ; overcoat ; silk hat. Act IV. — Black cut- 
away coat and waistcoat ; cassimere trousers ; derby hat ; overcoat ; gloves. 

Bargiss. Acts I., II., and III. —Trousers and waistcoat; dressing- 
gown. Flowing robe, long beard, and very tall hat, for " High Priest " 
costume at end of Act III. Act IV. — Ordinary morning suit (frock coat) ; 
overcoat; hat. He wears a half -bald gray wig, with whiskers to match. 

Hollyhock. Acts I. and II. — Soft felt hat ; corduroy trousers tucked 
into farm boots; shooting-jacket. Act III. — Full evening dress, with 
outer garment for street; silk hat. " Conspirator's " dress to close Act 
III., big black cloak, broad-brimmed slouch hat, etc. Act IV. —Ordi- 
nary business suit. 

Tamborini. Dress suit throughout ; wears order in buttonhole ; crush 
opera bat. Long linen duster only at ist entrance. Act I. He wears a 
black curly wig, with mustache and imperial to correspond. 

Postman. Conventional postman's uniform, with cap. Waterproof 
cape in Act III. 

Gasleigh; Business suit, of a style several years behind the times, 
rather worn ; rusty derby hat. 

JOBBINS. The ordinary rig of a farm superintendent. 

Mrs. Bargiss. Act I. — - Thin figured morning dress ; summer hat, 
etc. Act II. — Same, without hat. Act III. — Home evening dress; 
cloak and hat for end of act. Act IV. — Street or travelling dress. 

Mrs. Hollyhock. Acts I. and II. — Summer morning dress ; no hat 
Act III. — ^ Handsome dinner or evening dress ; wraps for street, etc. Act 
c~ IV. — Morning gown. 
^ Flossy. Acts I. and II. — Summer morning dress ; hat, etc. Act 

^ III. — Home evening dress. Act IV. — Morning dress. 
^ Jessie. Neat muslin gown ; linen collar and cuffs ; lace cap. 



.S 



■] PROPERTIES. 

-3 Act I. — Table and chairs c. Sofa L. Chair up R. Other chairs 

\ placed conveniently about stage. Whistle, papers, and letter for PosT- 

j^ MAN. Cards, in case, and coins for Corliss. An art catalogue. Large 

^ mastiff dog, and card, for Flossy. Letter (in envelope) and paper for 

5 Mrs. Hollyhock. Books on shelf r. Magazine for Jessie. Spectacles, 

j^ for Bargiss, on table c. Bell, lamp, and flowers in vase on table c. 

5^ Carpet down. Whip for Hollyhock. 

"- Act II. — Furniture, etc. , as in Act I. Books, in basket, for Mrs. Bar- 

Giss. Bust of Dante for Jessie. Letters for Mrs. Hollyhock and CoR- 

N^i Liss. Four pens and notebook for Bargiss. Document, in large wal- 

c let, for Gasleigh. Envelope and paper for Hollyhock. Manuscripts 

^ for Bargiss and Mrs. Bargiss. Watches for Corliss and Tamborini. 

i< Sandwich, glass of wine, and napkin for Bargiss. Sandwich, glass of 

wine, and handkerchief for Gasleigh. 

■3 Act III. — Shade and heavy curtains at window. Mirror R. Desk, 

^ chair, and revolving bookcase L. Books in bookcase. Papers, writing- 

; materials, bust of Dickens, and two candelabra on desk. Bust of Shake- 

^ 3 



speare and two Candelabra on mantel. Table and easy-chairs in front of 
mantel. Chandelier c. Divan c. Piano L. Chairs R., R. c, c, and r, 
of divan. Carpet down. Several books on table c. Artificial flowers for 
Jessie. Pair of shoes for Jessie to bring on. Cards, in case, and coin 
for Corliss. Candelabrum (not lighted) and some letters and papers for 
Jessie. Four pens for Bargiss. Large handbill for Hollyhock. Check 
for Bargiss. Several folded napkins, and some cracked ice in a bowl, for 
Jessie. Red book for Gasleigh. Student-lamp (not lighted) for Jessie. 
Book for Flossy, Letter for Mrs. Hollyhock. Bell on table c. Mrs. 
Bargiss's cloak and hat, for Jessie to bring on. Noise, rain, wind, thun- 
der and lightning, off stage. Small shaded lamp (lighted) for Flossy. 
Door-bell off L. c. Whistle, mail-bag, and handkerchief for Postman. 
Matches on mantel. Coin, in pocket, for Flossy. 

Act IV. — Furniture, etc., as in Act HI. Card on salver for Jessie. 
Large bouquet, notebook and pencil, for Tamborini. Bolt inside door 
R. 3 E. Shawl up stage for Bargiss. Chair at door L. c. Letter and book 
for Mrs. Bargiss. Spectacles for Bargiss. Bargiss's hat and overcoat 
up stage. Rose in vase on piano. Large clothes-basket filled with books. 
Handkerchief for Bargiss. Eyeglasses for Mrs. Bargiss. An open and 
a sealed telegram for Tamborini. 



ABBREVIATIONS. 

In observing, the player is supposed to face the audience, c. means 
centre; R., right ; L., left ; R. c, right of centre ; L. C, left of centre ; 
C. D., centre door ; R. D., right door ; L. D., left door ; D. R. c, door right 
of centre ; d. L. c, door left of centre ; D. F., door in the flat ; c. D. F., 
centre door in the flat ; R. D. F., right door in the flat ; L. D. f., left door 
in the flat; i G., 2 G., 3 G., etc., first, second, or third grooves, etc.; I E., 
2 E., 3 E., etc., first, second, or third entrances, etc.; R. u. E., right upper 
entrance ; L. u. e., left upper entrance ; UP, up stage or toward the rear ; 
DOWN, down stage or toward the audience; X., means to cross the stage; 
X. R., cross toward the right ; X. L., cross toward the left. 

&• &• C«* C« Xm C* Xm 



SEVEN - TWENTY - EIGHT ; 

OR, 

'casting THE BOOMERANG. 



ACT I. 



SCENE. — Vestibule or sitting-room in a comfortable country 
mansion. A chimneypiece c. Bay-window at l. c. 
Archway and wnservatory reached by two steps r. c. 
Doors R. I E., R. 3 E., and l. 2 e. Table and chairs 
c. Sofa L. The plcue has an old-fashioned but very 
homelike air. The curtain rises to the air of " Wait for 
the Wagon." The country Postman appears at the bay- 
window^ L. c, and gives his usual sharp whistle. He 
leans half through the half-open sash of the bay-window, 
ENTER Jessie from r. c. READ Y Mrs. Bargiss, 
to enter r. c. 

Jessie (a spry, neat maid-servant^ Coming, coming ! 

Postman. Lively, then I {Hands down papers and a let- 
ter^ There you are. 

Jes. That all? 

Postman. Till next time. {EXIT, l. c.) 

Jes. (coming forward and sorting the packages). There's 
the Tribune for Mr. Bargiss, and the Bazar for Mrs. Bargiss, 
and — arid the Agriculturist for Mr. Hollyhock, and one 
letter for Mrs. Hollyhock. What a sight of newspapers we 
do take in, and how few letters 1 But this place is out of the 



6 Seven -Twenty -Bght I 

world. Nobody wastes letters on us. (Zajs the papers en 
table, and keeps the letter in her hand.) 

ENTER Mrs. BARGiss,/r^w conservatory , r.c, with summ» 
hat, etc. Middle-aged and sprightly. 

Mrs. Bargiss. Has the post come, Jessie? 

Jes. Yes'm. Nothing but one letter for Mrs. Hollyhock. 
{Crosses to 's..) 

Mrs. B. {getting l. of table). And no papers? 

Jes. Oh, yes'm. The regular lot come as usual. 

Mrs. B. (looking over papers at table). Wasn't there a 
magazine with them? A new magazine with an old-gold 
cover ? 

Jes. No'm. Not as I see. . 

Mrs. B. If the postman brings one, fetch it to me before 
anybody else sees it. 

Jes. Very well'm. 

Mrs. B. I expect it to-day. You'll know it by the very 
peculiar color of its cover — a sort of orange or yellow. Do 
you know what old-gold is ? 

[READ Y Corliss, to enter r. c. 

Jes. No'm. I know what old silver and old greenbacks 
look like. 

Mrs. B. Well, it's like nothing you ever saw, then. 
You'll know it directly. 

Jes. Please'm, what's the name of it? 

Mrs. B. " Scattered Leaflets." (Crosses to R.) Can you 
remember the name ? 

Jes. " Scattered Leaflets." Oh, yes'm. 

Mrs. B. Don't forget, then — and bring it to me in- 
stantly. (EXIT, R. lower door.) 

Jes. Yes'm. Instantly. I've heard that word before. 
They want everything instantly in this house. (Goes up and 
looks off through the bay-window^ L. c.) My sakes 1 if there 



Ot, Casting the Boomerangf* 7 

ain't a strange young gentleman coming up the walk — and 
coming right in, too ! Well, he's cool ! {Retreats down c.) 
Who knows — the beaux may be coming after Miss Flossy 
at last. Oh, I do hope and pray they be ! It goes to my 
heart to see a young thing like her wasted on nobody,, the 
way she is. {Gets l.) 

ENTER Corliss, r. c.y through the conservatory ; looks about 

him and comes down. 

Corliss (r.). Ah I {Seeing Jessie.) I believe this is 
Mr. — Mr. — {politely and evasively^. 

Jes. Mr. Bargiss's ? Yes, sir. (Aside^ He's real nice 
— I hope he's a beau. 

Cor. Mr. Bargiss's — thank you — and Mrs. Bargiss's, of , 
course ? 

Jes. Yes, sir. There's Mrs. Bargiss, too. Shall I tell 
them, sir? 

Cor. Wait a moment. 

Jes. Oh, I can't, sir. I have no time. 

Cor. {touching her chin). What, so young — and " no 
time" already? 

Jes. {crosses to r.). Oh, Mr. Bargiss gets in an awful tem- 
per if he sees any of us idling. 

Cor. Bargiss must be a tyrant. Not the least like the 
smiling visage that beams upon us from this silver dollar, 
eh ? {Gives her apiece of money ^ 

Jes. I'll compare the likeness when I see him. {Pockets 

it:) 

Cor. Now, answer me a question. {Takes a card from 
his pocket^ Look at this. It's a crest, you perceive — a 
shield with a two-headed — 

Jes. a two-headed goose on it. 

Cor. a double-headed swan. Tell me, have you ever 
seen a crest like that anywhere ? 



8 Seven -Twenty -Eght; 

Jes. (r.). I thought it was a goose. Why, Missis has 
that on her notepaper and envelopes. 

Cor. Your mistress ? 

Jes. Yes — old Missis. 

Cor. Old — how old? 

Jes. I guess she's near fifty. 

Cor. That's sufficient {Puts up card, disappointed 
Going tip R.) 

Jes. I guess she thinks it's sufficient, too. {Going.) 

CoR. {pauses). Stop a moment (r. Comes back.) Tell 
ne, are there any other ladies in the family ? 

Jes. Oh, yes. There's the two daughters. One's mar- 
ried to Mr. Hollyhock — and the other is Miss Flossy. 

Cor. {interested). Miss Flossy? Young? 

Jes. Oh, yes. 

Cor. How young ? ^ 

Jes. Eighteen. 

Cor. Pause there. Does she own a very large dog ? 

Jes. iguickly). Oh, yes. Max. 

Cor. Now, look at this picture attentively. {Produces an 
art catalogue?) It's the illustrated catalogue of the Academy 
for '82. Page 32. No. 728. " Portrait of a I^ady." Do you 
know the young lady ? 

Jes. Why, it's Miss Flos and Max. 

CoR. {replaces the pamphlet and seizes her hand, producing 
from his pocket another coiti). If I ask you to swear by this 
image of our bright Goddess of Liberty not to mention my 
inquiries to any one, will you do so ? 

Jes. Do you intend to stop and see the family ? 

CoRi I came for that purpose. 

Jes. {crosses to r.). Then I won't say a word unless I find 
I ought to, you know. 

Cor. Of course. Is it a bargain ? 

Jes. Yes, sir. {Pockets the coin, and asidt, in a Jluftef of 
delight^ He's come after ^I&SM Ftos along ol ke^ poiitmlt 



Or, Casting- the Boomcrangf. 9 

Oh, how romantic ! I wouldn't spoil it for the world. {Look- 
ing off, L. c.) Look ! There's Miss Flossy, her own self, in 
the garden now. Shall I go and tell her you're here ? 

Cor. By no means. I shall introduce myself to her 
father. 

Jes. Yes, sir. I'll tell Mr. Eargiss at once. {Going; 
aside^ Oh, ain't it romantic, and just too lovely 1 (JSX/Tf 
R. C, wi^A letter^ 

\READ Y Flossy, with mastiff, to enter r. c. 

Cor. {steps to window, l. c). How's this ? How's this ? 
The young lady is a distinct blonde, and the portrait at the 
Academy is that of a brunette. She looks this way. The 
same eyes. What a pair of eyes ! I recognize the eyes. 
Heavenly! Now she looks again. I have found her at 
last. {Comes down.) And now that I have found her, what 
of it, my boy ? Is it worth my while to come on this expedi- 
tion ? I see a picture — I fall in love — and I act like a 
fool. Rush on to danger without counting the cost. {Sits 
on sofa, L.) Let us look at this thing calmly. If a man 
wants to buy a watch, how carefully he examines it before 
purchasing. It must be real gold, admirable as to manu- 
facture, thoroughly tested and perfect as a timekeeper. We 
call for a guaranty, take it on trial, and return it if it doesn't 
go. All this trouble for a watch. (Flossy appears passing 
window, leading a large mastiff^ When it comes to a wife, 
who guarantees the genuineness of the metal ? How are we 
to know about the works in her ? {Taps his hearty Who'll 
take her back if she doesn't go, or goes too fast ? {Rising^ 
Conclusion : Be on your guard, my boy — be on — ah, here 
she is I {Salutes Flossy very respectfully as she ENTERS 
from grounds, r. c, through the conservatory, in morning dress, 
hat, etc.) Good-morning, Miss — Miss — 

Flossy (r.). Good-morning. {Distantly^ Are you wait 
ing for papa ? 

Cor. Not exactly. / 



to 



Seven -Twenty -Eight} ' -'^A\ 



Flos. No? Oh! It's my brother-in-law, Mr. Holly- 
hock? {Going a step to 'Si^ 

Cor. Not quite that, either. 

Flos, {puts dog off 'Si.\ d.). Oh, then — {going). 

Cor. Then what do I want ? I see you are naturally 
curious to — 

Flos, {towards him). Not at all — but we so seldom see 
anybody here — it's quite an event when we have a call. 
We live in such seclusion. 

Cor. I really sympathize with you. 

Flos. It's quite a humiliating confession, isn't it — 
to acknowledge I find it dull? I ought to have all sorts 
of resources ; all well-bred young ladies are supposed to 
have. 

Cor. (l.). Utter nonsense ! Seclusion is very well for 
age ; to youth it is a prison. The glare of the ballroom is 
for a young girl what the sunlight is for the flower, 

Flos. Please tell my father and brother-in-law that. 
They won't believe me. 

Cor. I shall certainly do so. In the meantime, permit 
me to tell you what brought me here, and ask your sym- 
pathy and aid. I heard that the neighborhood contained a 
hidden treasure. \^She looks at him, amazed. 

Let us say, for instance, a celebrated piece of tapestry — 
or a rare bit of china — which I am anxious to possess. 

Flos. It's quite interesting. 

Cor. You find it so ? Thank you. I thought you would. 
I wish to keep the matter secret for the present, and I need 
some pretext for remaining just long enough to examine my 
treasure before making an offer. 

Flos. That seems reasonable. 

Cor. You find it so ? Thank you. I thought you would 
I have brought a letter of introduction to your father. 

Flos, {going up r.). I left him in the garden. 

Cor. (getting r.). Thanks. Permit me one word. 



. ^ii'i':^-*- 



Or, Castmgf the Boomerang;* ' tl 

■i ■, . _ , ■■■_■-. ■■-.-■■ * ■■■' ' 

Flos, (turns down l.). Certainly. 

Cor. Thank you again. I thought you would. This let- 
ter will not insure me more than half an hour's stay in this 
house. What can I do after that ? 

Flos. (l.). Call again to-morrow. 

CoR. No. I want a good excuse for staying, and I am a 
poor hand at forcing an acquaintance. 

Flos, (l., mischievously). You don't do yourself justice. 

CoR. That means you think me rather impudent. 

Flos, (self-possessed). Rather imprudent. Suppose I were 
\o reveal your plans to the lord of the manor ? 

CoR. You won't do that. In fact, I dare to count upon 
your assistance. 

\READY Mrs. Hollyhock, with letter^ to enter 
R. 3 D. V 

Flos. Why, I don't even know you. \ 

CoR. And yet you would trust me. In fact, you trust me 
already. For the present, content yourself with my honest 
face and — my name. (Hatids her his card.) 

Flos. It will end in your getting me into a scrape. I 
don't want to be found out in anything foolish. 

CoR. Anything foolish ? My dear young lady, have you 
ever listened to old people when they talk among themselves? 
Do so 1 You will find that the dearest recollections of their 
youth are the follies they committed. They are the ever- 
greens in the wreaths of memory. I beg of you, then, don't 
neglect to lay in a stock for your old age. Do something 
now to laugh over heartily then. You can do nothing wiser. 
Come, then I Just one little good-natured folly to begin with. 
Keep my secret. Thank you. I thought you would. I'll go 
and find your father. Remember, when we meet again, for- 
get that we have met before. Au revoir. (EXIT, r. c.) 

Flos, (sees him off; then comes down). That's the first per- 
son I've seen in six months that I could speak a sensible 
word with. (Reads card.) " Courtney Corliss." Isn't i* 



12 W'-- Seven -Twenty -Bght I 

stTznge that nice-looking people always have such pet^ 
names. - 

ENTEB Mrs. Hollyhock, r. 3 d., with a letter, • ' 

Mrs. Hollyhock (r.). Here's a letter for you, Flos. It 
name enclosed to me. {Takes letter from envelope and throws 
envilopc carelessly on table c. ; comes down l.) 

Flos, (crosses to r., looking at signature^. It's from Mr. 
Palette, the painter. 

Mrs. H. (l.). Unfortunately. 

Flos. VVhy so? 

Mrs. H. Candidly, I blame myself in this matter. We 
met him at Nahant last fall, and he painted your portrait. 

Flos. Mamma knew about it, and was present at all the 
sittings. 

Mrs. H. Yes, but papa knew nothing about it. We 
shouldn't have allowed Mr. Palette to send it to the Acad- 
emy. I tremble to think what papa and, worst of all, my 
husband, would say if they knew your portrait was on exhi- 
bition. 

^ Flos. (r.). They needn't know. We've kept it secret so 
far. 

Mrs. H. Who knows how much longer we can do so? 
There 1 {Produces a paper^ There's a notice of it in the 
papers already. 

Flos, {delight^. Of my picture ? 

Mrs. H. Listen. (Reads.) "The gem among the por- 
traits is No. 728. A young girl seated, with a gigantic mas- 
tiff at her feet. The artist persistently refuses to disclose the 
original of his charming picture." . I ' - 

Flos. Well, you see he is discreet. , "* 

Mrs. H. Wait. {J^eads.) " Yet there is a trifling circum- 
stance which might give an ardent admirer a clew to the 
mystery. On the embroidered yf(r>5« worn by the lady there 



\ 



'r' '..: 



Of^ Casting the Boomerangf* tZ 

appears, among heraldic arabesques, the figure of a two- :^ 
headed swan." r.-^W' 

Flos. (r.). Mamma's crest ! * 

Mrs. H. Yes. The double-headed swan of mamma's very r 
distant if not apocryphal English ancestors. Suppose papa ^ <K"^ 
should read that article — r ::? 

' Flos. But, Dora, the whole thing's so harmless. I'm sure 
I'm not in love with Mr. Palette. He vowed it would make 
his reputation if I sat, with Max, for a picture — and I didn't 
want to crush him at the outset of his career. It was very 
flattering, and I felt like his muse. Some day, when he gets 
into the " Encyclopaedia of Painters," it will be mentioned 
that his first successful picture was a portrait of Miss Flor- ,~f 

ence Bargiss — and so I'll get into the Encyclopaedia too, ' 

and be immortal with him. {Crosses to i..) , ..^^ 

Mrs. H. (r.). Well, if you get in there, my husband will] - - 
get a divorce. ^ 

Flos. That's because he's an awful prig, and appreciates 
nothing but sheep and pigs. 

Mrs. H. {sighs). Unhappily. Well, what does your 
painte'r say in his letter ? 

[READY Hollyhock, with whip, to enter r. c. 

Flos, {laughs). I forgot all about the letter. {Reads.) 
" Dear Miss Bargiss, — Your portrait has made a sensation. 
I had a quite singular experience with it, however. When 
it was finished, I became sensible that your face lacked a 
certain indispensable expression." Well, I declare ! "There 
was a certain something, unfortunately, very commonpiac- 
about it, which I tried in vain to idealize." {Furious.) 
Upon my word ! 

Mrs. H. Candid, I must say. 

Flos, {reads, l.). " At last I tried the effect of substitut- 
ing for your own hair, which is of the ordinary blonde type, 
and worn too severely, a mass of rich, dark curls. The 
effect was magical. The likeness, it is true, suffered greatly, 



J4- Seven -Twenty -Eight; 

but, from an artistic standpoint " — ( Throws the letter down.) 

I could cry with vexation. (65>.) i 

Mrs. H. {crossing to l. ; ficks up letter). I should say so I 

Flos. (r.). And I was so proud — I thought — oh ! 

Mrs. H. {soothingly). There — don't waste a thought 

more on it. [Flossy bounds away from her, to l. 

ENTER Hollyhock, r. c, in farm boots and shooting-jacket^ 

carrying a whip. 

Hollyhock (r.). I say, Dora, I wanted — {stops). 
What's the matter? Have you two been quarrelling? 

Mrs. H, {crossing to c). No, no. 

HoL. What letter is that ? 

Mrs. H. Nothing important. 

\READ Y Mrs. Bargiss, to enter r. i d. 

Hol. Let me see it. 

Mrs. H. {crossing to l., pockets letter). Don't be in- 
quisitive. 

Hol. {to Flossy). You've been crying. 

Flos, {crossing to "s.., pettishly). Well, I know I have. 

HoL. What for ? 

Flos. Because I'm unhappy. Because I'm kept here 
secluded and imprisoned like a nun. 

HoL. Hol-lo! 

Flos. And because I'm bored to death, (r.) If you 
don't want a young girl to die of the blues, you must give 
her something to amuse her. The glare of the ballroom is 
what I want. The flowers pine for the sunlight — so do I. 
{Stage R.) 

HoL. (c). There's lots of sunlight here. I get on 
amazingly. 

Flos, {up to him). You ! You are laying up a nice old 
age for yourself ! I don't believe you ever committed a 
folly in your life. Where will your memories come from — 
where are your evergreens ? {EXIT, r. i d.) ' 



;iiAt"i#'^\i.-,»><::..L*I*&>i*V».JAr*..'l.i'»'ti.ii.--,Sr^ 



- : ; ; Oiv Casting; tiic Boomerang^. 15 

HoL. I don't comprehend. What's the matter with her ? 
Mrs. H. Oh, it's some freak. Goodness knows what 
-she thinks about. 

[READ Y Bargiss and Corliss, to enter r. c. 

ENTER Mrs. Bargiss, r. i d., looking back after Flossy. 

Mrs. Bargiss {crossing to c). Dora, has the postman 
brought anything for me yet ? [Paul saunters up r. 

Mrs. H. Not that I know of, mamma. 

Mrs. B. I wish you would ask about the place. There 
must be something. 
^, Mrs. H. I will, mamma. {EXIT, r. c.) 

Mrs. B. It's unaccountable. {Goes to bay-window, l. c.) 
[Hollyhock looks after Dora, and comes down. 

HoL. {looking on the table, has found the envelope that Dora 
threw down, which he examines carefully). There is some- 
thing in the wind. Flossy crying, and Dora hiding a letter 
from me. This must be the envelope. Postmarked New 
York, and addressed to my wife. {Forward^ In a man's 
handwriting. I say, mother, do you know Dora's correspon- 
dent in New York ? 

Mrs. B. (l. c, at window ; not turning). No. Why do 
you ask ? 

HoL. {evasively). Nothing in particular. (Aside.) She 
shall tell me whom that letter is from. (Pockets envelope.) 
There's father yonder. I wonder if he knows. 

Bargiss appears at back., in conservatory, in dressing-gown, 
with Corliss. They stop in conversation. 

Bargiss. Ah ! There's Hollyhock, now. He'll give you 
the information, no doubt. (Calls.) Paul ! One moment ! 
HoL. Certainly. (Goes up^ 

[Bargiss, in pantomime, introduces Corliss to him, 
and instructs him to show Corliss over the grounds. 
They go oj^ together, and Bargiss comes down. 



i6 Seven -Twenty -Eigtit J .^ ( 

Mrs. B. (a/ windowy L. c, speaking as Paul goes up). I [ 
hope the postman hasn't dropped the " Scattered Leaflets " \ 
on his way. If it doesn't arrive to-day, I'll telegraph to the 
publisher. This suspense is becoming unendurable. ■ -li 

Bar. (r.). Ah, Hypatial There you are. What are v^ 
you doing at the window? j- 

Mrs, B. I'm waiting for the mail. '; 

Bar. Oh, it'll come in time. Small loss if it doesn't. 
Nothing in the papers. 

Mrs. B. (meaningly). Perhaps there may be this time. ' 

Bar. {surprised). Why — what's going on ? 

Mrs. B. (l.). Something that concerns me — deeply. 
Something that ought to concern you — and I hc^e it will. 

Bar. Go on, Hypatia ; let's know all about it. 

Mrs. B. I intend it as a surprise — and yet it may be 
better to prepare you. 

Bar. You surprise me already. Go on and prepare me 
fully. 

Mrs. B. {earnestly). Launcelot, how often have I told 
ywi how much it has pained me to see you wasting your 
time and talents in idleness ? 

Bar. (r.). Idleness, my dear ? I get up at five every ; 
morning. 

Mrs. B. And go to bed at nine, as obscure — as un- "^ 
known — as poor and as small as you got up. 

Bar. Hypatia 1 

Mrs. B. {interrupting him, and with a lofty air). And you 
were made for something better and greater, Launcelot. 

Bar. Are you getting on that old subject again ? {Crosses 
to L. and sits on so/a.) 

Mrs. B. (l. c). You are simply neglecting your duty 
and burying your talents. 

Bar. Whew — w! {Sits down "L^ 

Mrs. B. Look at what you have done — your writings -% 
your poetry — 



^.ifSl.. »,„A-'? 



■^Jt^Sl . 



Ot, Casting tlie Boomerang. ^ if^ 

■ -^st - ^ ■ • - -' - 

Bar. Now, my dear — (Rising.) 

Mrs. B. (replacing him back). You won't talk me out of 
it this time. There is something great in you. Your pen, 
in days gone by, flowed with inspiration. 

Bar. {on so/a, l.). I confess I used to waste ink writing 
stuff I thought was poetry. Before I married you, I sinned 
largely in that respect. Stuff, my dear — all stuff — and 
poor stuff, too. I'm ashamed of it. (Crosses to r.) 

Mrs. B. Stuff? Your verses to me when we were en- 
gaged ? Never ! I read them over the other day, and they 
brought tears to my eyes. 

Bar. (r.). You don't mean to say you kept that rubbish I 

Mrs. B. (lachrymose). Every line you ever wrote. In 
my desk. But that's not the place for them. They belong 
to the world. 

Bar. (r.). That's what I thought thirty years ago, when 
I sent them to the magazines. 

Mrs. B. And they were declined with thanks. It's the 
fate of all unknown authors. Thank goodness, there's a 
change now. (Strides proudly to l.) 

Bar. (looking after her). A change now — how ? 

Mrs. B. Professor Gasleigh has started a new maga- 
zine. , 

Bar. Gasleigh? Never heard of him. 

Mrs. B. What of that ? He never heard of you. Yet 
you are somebody — so's he. *. 

\^READ Y Flossy, with card^ and Jessie, to enter 
R. c. 

Bar. Excuse me — 

Mrs. B. His magazine is called " Scattered Leaflets." It 
is started to introduce unknown genius. He distinctly an- 
nounces in his prospectus that he wants no contributions 
from so-called celebrities. He proposes to publish the 
efforts of his subscribers only. -f 

Bar. (r.). Oh! Very good dodge. (Crosses to h^ 



. :. ,:■;;■■-■■ ---'^■' _ ^ _ V| 

J8 Seven -Twenty -Eight J • "^^ j 

Mrs. B. I have subscribed to the magazine, and' sent ' 
him a collection of your fragments. I expect the magazine 1 
containing them to-day. 

Bar. I hope he sends your bundle back unprinted. 

Mrs. B. He won't. He knows a good thing when he's 
got it. 

Bar. That's what I'm afraid of. 

Mrs. B. What's that ? 

Bar. Never mind. I don't want to see the paper. Don't 
bring it to me. {Up^ 

Mrs. B. But, Launcelot ! 

Bar. I won't look at it. I won't have anything to do 
with it. I don't want to be roasted by those press fellows 
at my age. \READY Tamborini, to enter r. c. 

Flossy appears^ with Jessie, at r. c. 

Flossy {looking at a card she holds in her hand). Papa, 
look at this. (Sends Jessie oJC) 

Mrs. B. {eagerly). Has it come ? 

Flos. Who? 

Mrs. B. (^<f/x c). The " Scattered Leaflets." 

Flos. No ; but a gentleman wants to see papa, and has 
.sent his card with this written on it. 

Bar. {downy feeling for spectacles'). Where are my specta- 
cles ? Read it. 

Flos, {reads). " Signor Palmiro Romano Giovanni Tam- 
borini," and he's written in pencil, " Formerly Maitre de 
Ballet de Covent Garden ; now commissioned on behalf of 
Lord Lawntennis." 

Bar. {crosses to r. ; takes card). What's all that ? What 
does he want ? 

Flos. I don't know, papa, unless you've had some tran- 
sactions with the Ballet in London, 

[Bargiss turns away^ confused. 
or with Lord Lawntennis. ' \ 



'.i'*.,i*^.i^.- v*.w?ftie. ifj^j^**'Li^ 



Ot, Casting the Boomerang; I? 

Mrs. B. (l.) Signer Tamborini ! He must be an Italian. 
Flos. (l.). Of course. [Jessie ushers in Tamborini. 

Tamborini appears^ r. c, in a long duster^ under which is a 
dress suit — order in buttonhole — opera hat. He takes 
off duster and hands it to Jessie. She puts it on chair ^ 
and EXIT, r. c. 

Tamborini (shuts his hat and looks at his attire). All right. 
(Comes down r. c. with measured dancing-step. Bows grandly, 
pressing his hat with both hands against his left breast, and 
then extending it to arm's length. First addressing Mrs. Bar- 
Giss.) Signoral (71? Flossy.) Signorinal (71? Bargiss.) 
Signer! 

Bar. (c). Good-morning. 

Tam. (r. c, with strong accent and much gesture). I beg 1 
thousand pardons if I make a mistake in the language — 

Bar. Oh, we'll understand one another. 

Mrs. B. Unfortunately, we don't speak Italian. 

Tam. That is no matter, Signora. (Profound bow.) I 
inow a little English, and if I can't think of a word, I know 
how to help myself out. I have been Master of the Ballet at 
the Royal Opera for twenty years. If a word sticks in my 
stupid head (gesture), or my stupid tongue (gesture), I make 
it out with my hand (gesture). If I want to say Te voglio 
bene, I do so. (Makes ballet-gesture of loving.) 

Flos. (l.). Oh ! So that means love ? 

Tam. (applauds). Bravo, Signorina ! Then when I want 
to say Sposare, I do so. (Gesture of proposing in marriage.) 

Mrs. B. You are proposing marriage. It's quite plain. 

Tam. Divorzo, I do so. (Gesture of taking wedding-ring 
from his finger and throwing it away.) 

Bar. Ah I Divorce ! Just so ! That's very plain, too. 
Ah, there's a great deal that's very plain in the ballet. I 
always liked the ballet. Especially Taglioni^ — ah, what a 
dancer she was ! ( With enthusiasm^ 



20 Seven -Twenty -Eighti 

Tam. Oh, oh, oh, oh ! Signor, do not say that ! (Gesture 
of negative with hand.) Old school — old style I You should 
see our Prima Ballerina in Milano. Oh, oh ! {Gesture of ec- 
stasy.) La Braggazetta. She is an artiste. Ah ! (Throws 
kisses with both hands.) With Taglioni art was small — so. 
{Indicates a few inches from his hand^ But the puffs were 
big — sol {Opens both arms?) With Braggazetta, the puffs 
are small — so. {Indicates about an inch from the floor ^ But 
the art — sot {In his ecstasy ^ he pulls up the nearest chair^ 
stands on it^ and indicates the height of art with his hat in his 
upheld hand. Instantly seeing his impropriety, he descends. 
Bowing with effusion.) Ladies, I beg {gesture) for pardon. 
Pardon me. When I speak of my art I always lose my head. 
{About to replace the chair?) 

Mrs. B. If you please, keep the chair, and be seated. 

Tam. If you allow me, I'll take the liberty. {Takes chair 
and offers it quickly to Mrs. Bargiss, who declines and sits on 
sofa. He offers it to Flossy, who declines and stands by her 
mother. He offers it to Bargiss, who sits with a grunt. Then 
finally he takes his own chair, and, after looking to see if the 
others are seated, sits, himself, with a pompous pose?) 

Bar. {looks at card). You are commissioned on behalf of 
Lord Lawntennis — 

Tam. Si, Signor — 

Bar. Yes, I see. 

Tam. And I have called by his Lordship's command, to 
ask you a most submissive question. {Bows.) 

Bar. What is it ? 

Tam. His lordship is a fool {general surprise ; gesture and 
checks himself) on the subject of art. He comes to travel in 
America. He sees at the Academy National of Design the 
portrait of a young and beautiful lady {gesture) with a big — 
big {gesture of size) dog. 

Flos, {alarmed, aside to Mrs, Bargiss). Mamma I 

Mrs. B. {same). Sh I 



^ -^^ -' - usifL'-J^f^^mik. ^ 



Oiv Castfngf the Boomerangs* ^^ 

Tam. His lordship say to me, " Palmiro, " he say to me, 
" I am anxious to know who the handsome young lady in the 
portrait is and where she lives. Btit the artist gives no in- 
formation. Therefore, search, Palmiro J Like a hunter to 
^e hounds. Avantil Seek! Seek, Palmiro ! {Pantomime of 
hounds on scent, but not leaving his chair.) 

Bar. Well, did you find the young lady ? 

Tam. Ah, Dio mio, Signor ! That was not so easy. But 
Palmiro is cunning fellow. I seek here — I seek there — 
and finally, right in the corner of the picture — what you 
think — I see a date. Nahant, 1881 — Nahant! {Gesture.) 
That is a watering-place. {Makes figures in the air with his 
fingers.) 1881 1 That is a clew. Oh, what a head I have ! 
I go by train to Boston — to Nahant. {Gesture and sound 0/ 
train.) I ask the big people {gesture) and the little people 
{gesture). 

Mrs. B. And did you learn the young lady's name ? 

Tam. No, Signora ; but I learned the young lady who was 
portrayed {gesture) was the daughter of a gentleman — who 
live in this place. 

Bar. {starts up). In this place ! {To Mrs. Bargiss.) 
You were at Nahant last year. 

Mrs. B. {rises). Why, my dear, you don't for one mo^ 
ment suppose — 

Flos. (l. c. ; all rise). Do you think it was I, papa? 
{Archly) 

Tam. (r. c. ; quickly). No, no ! The Signorina is not the 
original. The lady in the picture has quite a different head 
of hair. All dark — all curls — 

Flos, {helping him). Curls like that, eh ? 

Tam. Si, Signorina. Grazia tanto. 

Bar. Then it can't be Dora, either. 

Flos. Of course not. 

Tam. So? That is bad. {Shakes his head sadly) 

Bar. I beg your pardon, it's not bad at alL It wouldn't 



g^^^ "^gsi^^?^?-' - ;f ^7,7 ••^- "••T^'-^^^:<^pr^p?v 



22 Seven -Twenty -Eight; 

suit me to have my daughters sit for artists' models. .We 
don't allow such things in this country, Signor. 

Mrs. B. (l.). Certainly not. {Crosses to Tamborini.) 

Tam. Ma Dio mio. What will I do ! Adesso I 

Bar. You can inquire in the neighborhood. There are 
plenty of fools in it. 

Flos, (crosses close to him). I think Mrs. Van Horn has a 
niece with black hair. She wears it in ringlets. 

Tam. Da Vero I Ah, Signorina, you take a stone from 
my heart. (Gesture to Bargiss.) Grazia tanto, Signor. 
(Going up c.) I run stante pede to the neighbor. (Turns at 
arch.) What is their name ? 

Bar. Van Horn. Horn. (Action of taking a drink?) 
It's the next house but two. 

Tam. Ah, Capisca I Mr. Van Horn. (Gesture of blow- 
ing.) Horn — that is easily remembered. Adio, Signor 
— Signora — Signorina — Complimenti Signore. (EXITy 
quickly, r. c.) 

\^READ Y Corliss and Mrs. Hollyhock, to enter 
R. c. 

Mrs. B. (l., aside). Thank goodness ! 

Bar. The fellow's a regular jumping-jack — but what a 
scare he gave me ! If one of you girls had been so foolish 
as to get yourself painted for show — I'd — you know how 
I hate this rushing into public. (Goes up irritated, and 
walks about.) 

Mrs. B. (crosses to c). Now, Launcelot — 

Flos. (l.). O mamma, what a pity it is we can't tell 
him ! 

Mrs. B. Don't bother me, you great baby. (Up') 

Flos. It's pretty good for a baby to have a lord fall in 
love with her picture. (Crosses to r.) 

Bar. (suddenly comes down r. of table ; and taking up a 
magazine, pitches it aside). It's too bad 1 

Mrs. R What ails you now ? 



i-^-.--^- 



:?-' Or, Casting the B<»me«u.^ " P 

[Flossy looks at books on shelf "Sl. 

Bar. I can't get your *' Scattered Leaflets " out of my 
head. Which of my poems did you send him, anyway ? 

Mrs. B. "The Pansy Chain." 

Bar. {reflectively). Hum 1 Hum ! They are not so very 
bad, fortunately. Particularly that "Sonnet to the Moon- 
beam Shining on my True Love's Eyelid 1 " {Suddenly^ 
Why the deuce doesn't the confounded magazine come? 
The suspense and uncertainty make me nervous. {Walks - 

about. ) 

> 
Corliss appears at r. c. with Mrs. Hollyhock. 

Mrs. B. Shi 

Corliss. Pardon me for disturbing you again. Your 
son-in-law bade me wait for him here. 

[Flossy is next to Dora, r. 

Bar. Certainly I Certainly ! Mrs. Bargiss — my wife. 
My daughter {introducing)^ Mr. Corliss. Thinks of settling 
in our vicinity. Tired of the city. 

Mrs. B. Tired of New York ? 

Flos. Are you a New Yorker ? [Corliss bows. 

Bar. New York ! New York I It's the old song ! I'm 
pestered to death by those women every day to leave a 
quiet, decent, healthy country home and crowd into a great 
barracks they call New York. 

Mrs. B. (l.). An owJ's nest. We are mouldering into 
dust here. 

Bar. Don't let them frighten you, my young friend. 
You'll do capitally here. Look at me. I've sat in the owl's 
nest twenty years. Am I mouldering into dust ? I've had 
my day in the city, and now I've settled down to rest. 

Flos. But papa — we haven't had our day in the city. 

Mrs. B. Time enough to rest when you have achieved , 
something. 

JJar. You must know, Mr. Corliss, that my Wife has a 



• 



ENTER Jessie, r. c, holding a magazine aloft in her hand- 
Jessie. Here it is at last 1 



4 :'. 

\ : 



24 Seven -Twenty -Bght J j 

/I 

hobby. She wants me to be somebody. As if it wasn't 
enough, at the close of one's life, to say, " I've been a de- 
cent fellow. I've never wronged any one. And never 
made a fool of myself." 

Cor. {calmly). Very high praise — if you deserve it. 

Bar. {hesitating). Well — so far, I've never done any- 
thing /«/-//V«/<:?r/>' foolish. 

Cor. So much the worse. 

Bar. Why so much the worse ? 

Cor. Because you've got it to do. 

\READ Y Jessie, with a magazine^ to enter r. c. 

Bar. Allow me — 

Cor. Pardon me. I mean no reflection. I simply state 
a fact. Every one commits, at some period of his life, a 
signal act of folly — takes a step and stumbles — makes an 
effort that recoils upon his head — throws, in fact, a boom- 
erang that returns to floor him. It's destiny. No one 
escapes. 

Mrs. B. There must be exceptions. 

Cor. {crosses to h.\ politely). I fear not, madame. To speak 
figuratively, folly sits enthroned above us in the clouds, smil- 
ing at our efforts to be wise, and confident that the time must 
come when we forget our sense, our wit, our wisdom and ex- 
perience, and cast our little boomerang. 

Mrs. B. (r.). And may we inquire whether you yourself 
have — 

Cor. {smiles). I ? Oh, I propitiate the goddess by half a 
dozen small follies every day. 

Bar. Well, my young friend, I believe as little in your 
theory as in your goddess. I have survived the years of ^i 
folly, and would particularly like to see the temptation that 
would induce me to commit one. I 



.1; 



■X\ 






■■V 

Oi> Gtstins; the Boomerans^ ~ W 

Bar. (at arch). What, what? 

Jes. The " Scattered Leaflets." 

Mrs. B. {runs before him, snatches if from Jessie, and tears 
the wrapper off). At last we shall know. Remember my 
words, Launcelot. \EXIT Jessie, r. c 

Bar. (l. of Mrs. Bargiss, excited). Never mind ! Get it 
open 1 It's really too silly, but I am curious to know. 

Mrs. B. {has opened the pamphlet; screams). Launcelot I 

Bar. Well ! , Well 1 

Mrs. B. You are in it ! {Falls on his neck.) 



Mrs. H. } Mamma! 

Flos. j W^^^'')- What /> the matter? 



Mrs. B. My children, see I Your father's in print 
(.Crosses between the two girls and back.) 

Mrs. H. and Flos. Where ? How ? 

Mrs. B. (reads proudly). "The Pansy Chain, by Launce- 
lot Bargiss." (Crosses to r.) 

Bar. (looks over book, reads line and repeats, swelling with 
pride and pleasure). By Launcelot Bargiss ! By Launcelot 
Bargiss ! Allow me to look at it. I should think it inter- 
ested the author quite as much as anybody. Where the deuce 
are my spectacles ? Have any of you girls — (Stage, r. c, 
takes it pompously. Flossy gets his glasses from the table. He 
puts them on and looks over the magazine.) It's really there. 
Ha, ha, ha! (Quiet laugh of pleasure^ "The Pansy Chain, 
by Launcelot Bargiss." By Launcelot Bargiss — that's your 
dad. ![-KjSAI? V ]essik, to enter R. c. 

Flos, (crosses, embraces her father and mother hastily but 
fervently, turns 7vith open arms to Corliss — checks herself 
suddenly). Oh, papa is in the papers at last 1 (Crosses to 
Corliss.) 

Mrs. B. He may thank me for it. 

Bar. The types actually dance up and down before my 
eyes. It's really ridiculous ; but to see one's self in print for 
the first time — - 






26 Seven -Twenty -Eight J 

Cor. {politely^ crosses to l. c). So your husband is an 
author ? 

Mrs. B. {suddenly reserved^ and nudging Bargiss). Ye — es. 
He sent a trifle for this number. The editors are so per- 
sistent. 

Cor. I understood it was his first — 

Mrs. B. Oh, no — he's been writing for years. {Crosses 
to L. c.) 

Bar. {tapping his forehead). And the well's not quite dry 
yet. 

Flos. Do let us see, papa. {Crosses to c.) 

Cor. And may I have the pleasure — 

Bar. {airily). Oh, if it interests you, I should be glad to 
give you a copy. {Tb Mrs. Bargiss.) Have we — a — any 
more ? [^jS^Z? F Tamborini, to enter r. c. 

Mrs. B. {touching bell). Possibly — I — don't know. 

ENTER Jessie, r. c. 

Ask at the store if they have any more " Scattered Leaflets.'* 

[Dora crosses to Corliss and Flossy. 

Bar. If not, tell them to send for half a dozen — or say 
. a dozen ^- or two dozen of the — a — magazine, regularly. 

Jessie {going). Yes, sir. 

Bar. Ah — and — a — tell the man to send for fifty of 
this number. No. lo. Tell him to be sure it's the number 
with the poems by Mr. Bargiss — Launcelot Bargiss — that's 
me. 

Jes. {open mouth). Yes, sir. {EXIT, r. c.) 

Flos, {who has been reading). Why, they are splendid, 
papa ! Particularly the third one. {Crosses next to Bargiss, 
and gives him book.) 

Bar. {holds her hand to his shoulder, caressing her). Do 
you think so ? My dear, I always said our Flos knew a good 
thing — when she saw it. 

Mrs. B. The seventh is my favorite. It'§ beautiful, 






■ Or, Castrngf the Boomerang* 27 

Bar. (throws his arm round Flossy's necJi). H3rpatia I 
{Takes her hand.) 

Mrs. B. I'll read it. Give me the book. 
Bar. Not in presence of the author ! 

RE-ENTER Tamborini, in archway, r. c. 

TAMBdRiNi. Pardon ! 

All (backs to audience). Hush ! 

Tam. I wanted to ask — 

Bar. Sh ! My wife is going to read — a — something. 

Mrs. B. Yes. A poem of my husband's. 

Bar. Printed in the Magazine I Comprenny ? 

Mrs. B. (clearifig her throat, etc.). It is called " Flowers 
Culled by the Wayside." 

Tam. (r.). Ahl Capisco ! Flowers — culled — picked 
— pulled — (gesture) by Signor 1 (Points to Bargiss.) Good ! 
Bravo ! 

Mrs. B. (to Flossy and Dora, who are chatting with Cor- 
liss). Silence, if you please. 

ENTER Jessie, r. c. 

Jessie (eritering and blurting out). If you please, sir — 

[Bargiss runs her out, r. c, she struggling. 
Sir, if you please, sir — 
Bar. Now, my dear — 
All (as above). Hush I 

[Bargiss stands with his eyeglasses in his hand, beat 
ing time and looking smilingly at dome, Tam- 
borini accompanies the lities with gestures. Thi 
girls and Corliss group down l. Mrs. Bargis(/ ~ 
stands r. c. and reads. All mark time. 
Mrs. B. (reads). 



(( 



Once — as evening shadows fell, 
I sought my true love's door; 
Then and there my vow was spoken 
To love her evermore." 



38 Seven -Twenty -Eigflit J i 

Cor. (sotto voce). Bravo ! Bravo I 
All. Hush! 

Bar. (loftily). Another stanza ! 
Mrs. B. {reads). 

"Ah, what was the song she sang to me, 
My sweet love at her door, 
While eyes and hearts were meeting, 
To love me evermore?" (^Dries her eyes. ^ 

* 

Flos. Sweet! \_R E AD Y curtain. 

Cor. Capital ! 

Mrs. H. Beautiful. 

Tam. Bravo 1 Bravo ! (Seizes flowers from vase on table 
and crowns Bargiss.) 

Bar. {seizes the magazine from his wife^s hand and gazes at 
it rapturously as his wife embraces him). Yes — I am — -I 
am a poet ! 

\^RING curtain. The group breaks as the 

CURTAIN FALLS. 






..A^'-r.iJ.k 



•5^ 



f,r>-^ 'j^' "• v^wi^' ' ■^-■^^*^^:^-rs^-'->^^ 



Ot, Gating the Boomerangs. -^ 



ACT II. 

SCENE. — Same as last Mrs. Bargiss is discovered r., 
placing books ^ which she takes from a basket ^ into bookcase. 
ENTER Jessie, r. c, with a bust of Dante on her arm, 
READ Y Mrs. Hollyhock, with letter^ to enter r. c. 

Jessie (r. c). Please'm, I've washed all the dirt off 
this old lady. Where shall I put her ? 

Mrs. Bargiss (r.). Old lady! What an idea! That's 
Dante — a celebrated poet. 

Jes. Lor'm, I thought it was an old woman, on account 
of the hood and nightgown. 

{READ Y Corliss and Flossy, to enter r. i d. 

Mrs. B. Put him on the table. Here. (Assists Jessie 
by removing lamp from table and placing it on mantel^ It 
will give a literary air to the room. Take that basket away, 
now. {EXIT Jessie, with basket, r. c 

ENTER Mrs. Hollyhock, r. c, with a letter. 

Mrs. Hollyhock. This is really too badi 

Mrs. B. What is ? 

Mrs. H. Paul won't be home to dinner. He's going 
away directly after luncheon, to the mill. 

Mrs. B. (at bookcase). Hum ! 

Mrs. H. (l.). That's the way it is all the time. I don't 
see my own husband any more. Up at five o'clock and off 
to the fields. Stays all day, and falls asleep over his supper. 
I'd like to know what I married for. (Sits r. of table.) 

Mrs. B. You should have listened to me. I warned you 
about marrying a man who hadn't a single literary taste. 



" ' > ■ . ■'■. 

30 Seven -Twenty -Bght; 4 



Mrs. H. {seeing her error — rises). Never mind. Don't 
say anything against him, mamma. I was wrong to com- 
plain. He loves me. I'll make it all right with him when 
he comes in. (EXIT r. 3 d.) 

Mrs. B. Ah 1 It's all she can do, poor thing. 

\Goes to door l., and peeps in as 

Corliss and Flossy ENTER at r. i d. 

Flossy (advances to Mrs. Bargiss). There's mamma 
now. Mr. Corliss is going away, mamma. 

Corliss (r.). I have to thank you and your husband, 
madam, for the very "great hospitality you have shown a 
stranger. 

Mrs. B. (crosses to c). Don't mention it, I beg. We had 
better not disturb Mr. Bargiss just now. He's composing. 
I'll tell him. {EXIT l. d.) 

Flos. (l.). Ever since papa saw his poems in the paper, 
he's been another man. He keeps writing day and night. 

Cor. It's the old story, Miss Florence. Printer's ink is 
a fluid possessing a fiendish charm. Who sees himself in 
print once is a slave of the dev — the printer's devil — 
forever. 

Flos, {crosses to r.). Things will be duller than ever, 
I'm afraid. And now that you've found what you came to 
look for, you are going, too. 

Cor. With a heavy heart. 

Flos, {innocently). Then it isn't what you expected ? 

Cor. What ? 

Flos. What you were searching for. 

Cor. No. It's extremely deceptive. At first it appeared 
to be really charming ; but on examining it carefully and 
critically, I found it full of hidden defects. 

Flos. Then you won't buy it ? 

Cor. That's the nonsensical part of it. I'm afraid 1 



). 



3^**.i-ii.:-'>'L-'"-" ■..-..„ ..-, i.'ii'^'U'dvLi'i'. 



I > Otf Casting; the BcxMnerang* W 

} • . : 

{ shall take the thing after all — for, candidly, I'm quite in 
I love with it. 

Flos. In spite of the defects ? You'll regret it hereafter. 

Cor. (crosses to l.). That's what I'm afraid of, too. For 
that reason I applied for advice to my mother, — who is 
most interested, next to myself, — and she rather seems to 
encourage me. {Produces letter from pocket?) Here's her 
letter. But even if she didn't, I'm so infatuated I should go 
on. {Puts up letter^ There's no reasoning with a man in 
love. [Flossy crosses to L., and laughs. 

Don't laugh at me. 

Flos. (l.). Well, I won't. But you actually talk about 
this bric-a-brac as if it were a woman you were in love with. 
Why do you look at me so strangely ? 

Cor. (r.). Did I? {Aside.) Is this innocence, or is she 
playing with me ? 

Flos. I didn't mean to offend. A cat piay look at a 
king — that's the old saying. 

Cor. Yes — and we have no recorded saying as to who 
may look at the queen. 

Flos, {crossing to r., archly). Why, all the animal king- 
dom. That includes man. 

Cor. Pardon me if I offended by my stare — but I 
thought I saw a resemblance — 

Flos. A resemblance to what ? 

Cor. To a portrait I saw at the Academy this year. 

Flos. (r.). Indeed ! How interesting ! . ■ 

Cor. {aside). Not a muscle changes. What a little dis- 
sembler she is ! 

Flos. It's a mere coincidence, of course. 

CoR. {aside). She fibs like a newspaper — and looks as 
innocent as a Christmas doll. 

Flos. I'd like to see the picture. 

Cor. You'd be disappointed, for the young lady has the 
most unbecoming head of hair I ever saw. 



^f" 



-.^fls;!s?"'s' ,. 



■-•'■wf-^-;;^^-^;'?: 



^ Tr*?»^»TC*^ „ 



f- 'r:'^:Xc'f;^^!f^.'] 



32 



Seven -Twenty - Eight ; 



'ic 



Flos. Of course ! The idea of black curls with such 
eyes and that complexion. (Con/use^/.) Ahem ! 

Cor. How did you know the lady in the picture had 
black curls ? 

Flos, (aside). That was a mistake. (Moves away.) 

Cor. (l.). Don't be angry with me for having been so 
rude as to trap you. 

Flos, {turns in pretended innocence). Trap me? Why, 
what do you mean ? You haven't trapped me. 

Cor. No ? (Incredulously^ 

Flos. No. (Crosses to l.) 

Cor. (with a smile). Oh 1 

Flos. I heard all about the picture from Signor Tam- 
borini. 

Cor. (amazed). O — o — h! 

Flos, (sweetly). Y — e — e — si (Goes up^ leaving Cor- 
liss c, nonplussed ; then she returns^ and in the same gracious 
tone.) Didn't you know we had a call from Signor Tam- 
borini .? He has been commissioned by Lord Lawntennis to 
discover the original of that very portrait. 

Cor. (long drawl). O — o — h! 
. Flos. Y — e — s. (Turning a little away^ 

\READY]¥SSiE, to enter r. c. 

Cor. (aside). The little fox 1 She got out of it wonder- 
fully. 

Flos. (Assumes an injured and indignant air, and is sailing 
out R.). Good-morning 1 

Cor. (l.)- Miss Florence — one moment. 

Flos. You have wronged me, Mr. Corliss, with the most 
unjust suspicions. 

[i?^^Z> F Bargiss, with four pens, and Mrs. Bar- 
Giss, to enter l. D. 

Cor. Let me assure you, on my honor, I never enter- 
tained, concerning your truth and candor, one unjust sus- 
picion. 



^'■(r--^»^^"'ur'.'.-. 



..^ '^j^a 



';»&'1)>5 



sfc' :l -JSr, i 



Or> Casting the Boomerang. 33 

Flos, (sharply ^-r.). What's that? Say it again. 

Cor. No. Let me say I am full of contrition. 

Flos. That's better, and I forgive you — and — and — 
good-morning. {EXIT^ r. id.) " 

CoR. (solus). And I am in love with such an utterly un- 
reliable, imperfect, deceiving piece of womankind, or girl- 
kind, as that ! The idea of a frank, honest fellow selecting '^ ; 
a creature like this for his life companion ! And yet I'll do -^. 

it. I feel it coming. (Taking out his mother's letter.) The ^ 

answer I shall send to this will be an announcement of my 'I 

engagement — if she'll have me. [EXITf r. c, as T] 

Jessie rushes in r. c. ^ 

Jessie (almost runs against him). The Professor's come I J 

The Professor's come! (Knocks at door, l.) The Profes- 
sor's come, ma'am ! 

ENTER Mrs. Bargiss, l. d. j 

The wagon!s just driving up, ma'am. ^- 

\_READ Y Gasleigh, to enter r. c. 

Mrs. Bargiss. Very well, Jessie; run up and see that 
ever)rthing's right in the Professor's room. s 

Jes. Yes'm. (EXIT, r. id.) "J 

ENTER Bargiss, l. d., two pens behind his ears, one in his 
mouth, and one in his hand. 

Bargiss. It is too bad to be disturbed just at this mo- 
ment. I felt I was just becoming inspired. 

Mrs. B. (r.). Yes, dear. 

Bar. Hypatia, I believe this time I'm going to make a 
hit. 

Mrs. B. (r.). Don't strain yourself too much, Launcelot. 

Bar. I must make up for lost time. Stop ! (Inspired^ 
There's an idea. (Takes out a notebook and writes.) The 



34 Seven -Twenty -Eight; ' 1 

fountain, choked for years, bursts into play and overflows its ' 
basin. (Crosses to r., and commences to write?) - 

Mrs. B. Oh, how proud and happy all this makes me ! 
Sh ! Here's the Professor — who is destined to be the Bos- 
well to your Johnson. 

Jessie shows in Gasleigh, a shrewd and not over prosperous- 
looking _party, R. c. 

His anxiety to know you proves it, and he's come all the 
way from New York to see you, 

Gasleigh (c). Madam, permit me to express my grate- 
fulness at being permitted the opportunity of visiting genius 
in its own dwelling. (He presses her outstretched hand^ 

Mrs. B. {effusively, l.). Professor, you are welcome — 
allow me — 

Gas. (sees Bargiss, and takes an attitude). Don't speak. 
That is Launcelot Bargiss — author of the '* Pansy Chain." 
(Crosses to Bargiss and takes both his hands.') Let me take 
you by the hand. Let me salute the man who has stepped 
to his place in the ranks of literature at a single bound. 

Bar. (r.). I'm glad to see you, Professor — very glad. 

Gas. (still holding his hands). Yes — you are as I pic- 
tured you to myself. Half poet — half philosopher. All 
sensibility — generosity — capability — and hospitality. (Tak- 
ing his hand. To Mrs. Bargiss.) Do you know what I 
said to myself when I first read your husband's poems ? 

Mrs. Bj I should like very much to know. Professor. 

Gas. I said, these verses are not written by some mere 
gushing youth. There is a man's heart throbbing beneath 
them. 

Mrs. B. Isn't there ! Pray be seated. [All sit. 

Bar. But you know I was quite a boy when I wrote 
them. 

Gas. I saw that in a moment. The effusions of youth — 



..■:. iJ-Si»l 



I Ot, Casting the Boomerang. 35 

but not mere youth — a man's heart was throbbing within 
them ! Mark the distinction. 

Bar. I see. 

Mrs. B. That's why it vexed me so when the other pub- 
lishers refused them. 

Gas. Bless you ! I understand all that. You were re- 
jected because you weren't in the literary ring. It was that 
kind of thing induced me to start my periodical. The 
" Scattered Leaflets " have been founded as a refuge for the 
outcasts of the pen. In its pages such talent as yours chal- 
lenges the public notice. We shall not longer allow Tenny- 
son, Whittier, and Longfellow to monopolize celebrity. 

Bar. Do you know, Professor, that, after the first gasp 
of pleasure at seeing my lines in print, I began to think 
as though — 

Gas. I know — I know — you felt the power to soar 
higher, and disdained the flight already taken. 

Bar. I didn't feel exactly like that. No — I thought the 
whole lot trash. 

Gas. (c. ; all rise). I comprehend. I know the feeling. 
Self-doubt is the true test of genius. 

Bar. (r.). Is it ? So you think there is somethi»g in 
'em, eh ? Well, I sha'n't confine myself to poetry ; it's too 
exhausting. {Getting c.^ crosses.) 

Gas. No, no. 

Bar. Yes. The rhymes don't come as they used to, and 
the measure has a sort of rheumatic limp. 

Gas. (aside). Hum 1 

Bar. I've been thinking of the drama. The stage needs 
elevating. 

Mrs. B. It does, indeed. 

Bar. I mean to check, as far as lies in my power, the 
degenerating influences now at work. , 

Mrs. B. That will be splendid, Launcelot. 

Bar. I've nearly finished a five-act tragedy. Which of 
the theatres would you advise me to send it to ? 




Seven -Twenty - Etght ; 

Gas. Which of 'era ? None of 'em. A few authors mo- 
nopolize the managers and keep all the new talent in the 
background. 

Mrs. B. That's true. 

Gas. Do you know how the managerial ring works the 
little game of stifling competition .? {Crosses /o c.) They've 
got it down to a fine point. To have a play produced, you 
must have a name. To have a name, you must have your 
play produced. Ha, ha, ha 1 Do you see ? 

Mrs. B. (l.). It's monstrous 1 

Gas. I'll change all that. The public shall see your play. 
Give it to me. I'll publish an act a month. 

Bar. (rises). If you like I'll read it to you at once. 

Gas. There'll be time enough after dinner. 

Bar. (crosses to l.). Oh, we'll be able to get through a 
couple of acts before dinner. I'll run and get the manu- 
script from the library. 

Gas. (crosses to c). Very well. (Produces a huge wallet and 
takes out a paper.) And, if you don't mind, you can take the 
contract with you and sign at your leisure. 

Bar. The contract ? (Takes it.) 

Mrs. B. (r.). O Professor 1 Mr. Bargiss would not accept 
pay for his writings. 

Gas. Ha, ha, ha 1 A slight mistake. It's a contract in 
which he subscribes for a dozen copies of the magazine. You 
see, what with the paper and the type-setting and the print 
ing, expenses run up — run away up. 

Bar. But, as a contributor, I thought — 

Gas. Precisely — as a contributor, it's your interest to con- 
tribute to the support of the magazine. 

Bar. But it seems to me that twelve at the start — 

Mrs. B. I rather expected we should get a free copy. 

Gas. So you will — the thirteenth — that's our rule. 

Mrs. B. (r.). Oh, in that case it's quite satisfactory. 

Bar. Yes, in that case I'll sign. Come along, Professor. 



zitLm. 



h'::\ ' ' Oiv Castmgf the Boomerang> ' 3^ 

J I'll read you those two acts. I've selected an historical sub- 
I ject. My tragedy is founded on an episode in the life of 
' Charles the Fat. 

Gas. Ha, ha, ha ! {I'uU his hand on his stomach^ Fat, 
eh ? That puts me in mind of dinner. Ha, ha, ha ! 

[EXIT Bargiss, l., shutting the door abruptly, 
{Aside.) He doesn't take. 

Mrs. B. {confideiitially). Now that we are alone for a 
moment. Professor, I have something important to arrange 
with you. I wish to give my husband the surprise of his life. 
When we were engaged to be married, he sent me every day 
a bouquet and two verses of poetry. We were engaged eight 
. months. 

Gas. Eight months ? That makes two hundred and forty 
days. Two hundred and forty bouquets. Four hundred and 
eighty verses of poetry ! 

Mrs. B. The flowers have long been withered, but the 
verses are carefully preserved in my desk. What I want is 
to have them published, with the utmost secrecy, in a vol- 
ume. 

Gas. I see. 

Mrs. B. Now, can you find me a publisher? 

Gas. What do you want with a publisher ? What makes 
the publishers rich ? The profits they wring from the brain- 
. toil of authors. 

\READ Y Hollyhock, with hat, to enter r. c. 

Mrs. B. What shall I do, then ? 

Gas. (l.). Publish them yourself. Strike the first blow at 
a gigantic monopoly — the publishers' ring. Your title-page 
will simply say : " Published by the author — written by the 
publisher." \READ Y Mrs. Hollyhock, to enter r. 3 d. 

Mrs. B. Can you attend to it for me ? 

Gas. {grasps hands). With pleasure. 

Mrs. B. I should like the binding to be extremely ele- 
gant . 



38 Seven -Twenty -Eight J if 

Gas. I'll have a special design. 

Mrs. B. I'm so much obliged. But, mind, not a word to 
Mr. Bargiss. 

Gas. Not a word. It's our secret 

Mrs. B. It's the dream of my life. Launcelot's works 
elegantly bound, and lying on every parlor table in the landl 
I'll bring you the manuscript. (£X/T, r. i d.) 

Gas. (solus). Now, these are the kind of people I like. 
But you have to look for 'em in the country. City people 
know too much ! (Looks arou?id.) I wonder when they have 
lunch. They don't seem to eat much. That's one drawback 
to literary people. But I've travelled four hours, and I'm as 
hungry as a bear. (EXIT after Bargiss, l. d.) 

ENTER Hollyhock, r. c. ; same costume as Act I. Throws 
down his hat and then goes back and speaks off. 

Hollyhock. Tell him to wait. I'm busy just now. 
Wait a while. 

ENTER Mrs. Hollyhock, r. 3 d. 

Mrs. H. Why, Paul, I thought you had to go to the mill. 

Hol. (l.). Not before lunch. Hullo 1 What's the matter 
again ? Now, you've been crying. ( Walks up afid down?) 

Mrs. H. I know I have. (Crosses to l.) I've been want- 
ing to say something to you for a long time. Come here, 
Paul. 

Hol. Oh, I can't now, Dora! I'm out of sorts, too. I 
want to know something myself, and my mind's full of it. 
Father could set me right, but since he's got this new fit on 
him, he neglects everything else. (Still striding.) 

Mrs. H. (seated i..). Oh, confide in me, Paul ! Ask your 
wife. She is your true comforter. I have noticed that you 
act strangely of late — that you are preoccupied and some- 
times even — indifferent. 






I Or^ Castingf the Boomerangf. 39 

i HoL. My dear girl, there's a reason for it. It has begun 

to dawn on me that we must have a change. 

' Mrs. H. (rises hopefully). You see that yourself ? 

HoL. Yes; I've thought it all over, and I believe I've 
hit on the right thing. 

Mrs. H. (l.). Really and truly 1 

HoL. Really and truly. What do you think — ( Walk- 
ing away.) But why should I bother you with my worries ? 
{Crosses to c.) 

Mrs. H. {following him, and putting her arms lovingly 
about his neck). Ah, confide in me, Paul. 

HoL. (l.). Well, what do you think of the German sys- 
tem of feeding cows ? They say the results are better for 
half the labor and quarter the money. 

Mrs. H. Feeding cows ! 

HoL. They don't vary clover with corn and oats — their 
principle — [Mrs. Hollyhock goes away angrily. 

Where are you going — what ails you .? 

Mrs. H. (gets r. of table; bitterly). I expected something 
far different. \^READ V Corliss, to enter r. c. 

HoL. Well, if you think the German system won't do, 
say so openly. 

Mrs. H. Is this all you have to say to me ? 

HoL. Why, yes. Whole thing lies in a nutshell. It's 
grazing or stall-feeding — or varying the two. I don't see 
anything to object to in it. 
• Mrs. H. {sitting, in tears). You see~4iothing ? O Paul ! 

HoL. {going to her caressingly). There is something 
wrong. 

Mrs. H. {rises, hand on his shoulder). Can't you guess 
what is troubling me ? 

HoL. {supporting her head on his shoulder). Don't be 
afraid. Let me know everything. Is it — did you forget 
to moisten the pea-seed with the oil of turpentine ? 

Mrs. H. {breaks away indignantly). This is too much I 



. -'r/ri.-'j:«S'7".; »--^ja. ■ .. ' ^,-\t -'■';;*-. ■'"■'?>■ H^ 

'-:.'■■ ' 'A 

40 Seven -Twenty -Eigfht J ' 

HoL. {following). Dora! f 

Mrs. H. Let me alone! Oh! {Bursts into tears^ and 
EX/Tr. 3D.) - 

ENTER Corliss, r. c. 

HoL. Dora ! 

Corliss (r.). Pardon ! I fear I have interrupted a do- 
mestic incident. {Going.) 

HoL. (r.). No, no. Stay. I can't tell you what came 
over my wife so suddenly. I tell you, Corliss, there isn't 
a husband in the land more uniformly considerate than I 
am, and yet latterly she seems to be always disturbed about 
something. 

Cor. (l.). You have unconsciously said something harsh. 

HoL. No, I didn't. I didn't even blame her. I men- 
tioned the pea-seed and the oil of turpentine in the gentlest 
manner. 

Cor. {laughs). My dear friend, you are cultivating every- 
thing on this place to perfection — except your wife's happi- 
ness. Regaling a young wife upon turpentine and pea-seed ! 
Why, man, it's love — love — love — and nothing but love 
she wants you to talk about. 

HoL. So I do occasionally — only last Wednesday — 

Cor. Last Wednesday ! Every day and every hour. 

HoL. Now, that I can't do. There's really so much to 
look after about the place. But when the potatoes are in — 

Cor. There you go. Potatoes before your wife. It's so 
the world over. Molasses — sugar — corn — wheat — pig 
iron — books — stocks — bonds — everything before the 
wife] {Crosses to l.) 

HoL. But business before everything. 

Cor. It is business to make your wife happy. The man 
who doesn't is a poor man of business, I don't care if he 
makes millions. 

HoL. (r.). Well, for a bachelor, you seem to have very 
profound views on the subject. What do you advise ? 



Ot, Castingf the Boomerang:* 41 

Cor. I'm looking for advice myself {takes out his mother's 
letter) on the same subject. Here is some of the very best 
from my mother, and yet I can't make up my mind. {Puts 
letter up.) 

HoL. By the way — seeing your letter reminds me — I 
may have hurt my wife's feelings by some very stupid 
conduct. You see, I noticed that she had some secret trou- 
ble ; and a few days ago I thought I was on the track of it. 
She got a letter from New York which she refused to 
show me. 

CoR. Oh! 

HoL. I afterwards found the envelope on the table there. 
Here it is. {Crosses to l. and hands envelope.) 

Cor. Well .? {Takes it.) 

HoL. Well, I questioned her so persistently about it 
that she finally hunted up the enclosure and gave it to 
me {hands a paper), and it was nothing but a milliner's 
circular. 

CoR. What? {Takes it.) 

HoL. Now, you see, she doubtless felt hurt at my ques- 
tioning — 1 won't say suspicion in the matter, and that, with 
my neglect, perhaps — 

CoR. Your diagnosis of the case is perfect. She is suf- 
fering from a high degree of ennui, complicated by disap- 
pointment and distrust. 

HoL. And the remedy ? 

CoR. A winter in New York. 

HoL. (l.). a winter in New York ! I say, couldn't I give 
it to her in homoeopathic doses — say a week now and then ? 

Cor. My dear fellow, nobody takes pleasure homceopathi-1 
cally. She needs a change of air and scene, friends, visits, ' 
parties, theatres, balls, — everything she doesn't and can't 
get here. {Crosses to l.) 

HoL. Well,W — 

Cor. If you begin to butt against the remedy — 



42 Seven -Twenty -Eight J ' ! 

HoL. No, no. I'll have to think over it, though. I must 
look out for a furnished house. 

Cor. There's one just opposite my flat in the city. A new 
row near Central Park. Splendid view. Good air. No other 
neighbors. Quite a rus-in-urbe. You can hire it furnished 
for the season, and walk into it to-morrow. 

\_READ V Bargiss, wi^A MSS., and Gasleigh, to 
enter L. 

HoL. 'Gad, I'd start to-night if I made up my mind. I'm 
not so fond of dulness myself — only, if we live in the coun- 
try, we must plod. If we live in town, we'll go it with the 
town. I'm afraid she mightn't like it as well as I should. 

Cor. Go and ask her. If she doesn't fly at your neck 
with a cry of joy, and fly at her trunks with a shout of vic- 
tory — \READ Y Mrs. Bargiss, with MSS., to enter r. i d. 

HoL. (crosses to l., interrupting him resolutely). I'll try it 
instantly. {Shakes his hand.) Much obliged for the hint. I 
say — if you hear a cry of joy — telegraph at once for that 
house. {EXIT, r. 3 d.) 

Cor. {fumbling the letter and envelope unconsciously). It's 
wonderful how wise I am in other people's affairs, but when 
it comes to deciding for myself — {In trying to put the circu- 
lar into the envelope, he turns it different ways, hut it won't Jit, 
as the circular is long and the envelope is square.) Hullo ! This 
circular won't go into the envelope. Evidently because it 
never came out of it. My friend's wife has ventured a little 
deception on him. Possibly it's a quite harmless matter — 
but nevertheless, it's a trick. How fortunate he didn't dis- 
cover it. I must warn her, however. {Puts the circular and 
envelope in the same pocket with his mother^ s letter, and EXIT, 

R. C.) 

ENTER Bargiss, -l., followed by Gasleigh. Bargiss with 

MSS. 

Bargiss. So, Professor, you like the play, eh ? I'll mark , 



..:,:\ 



Of, Casting the Boomerang* 43 

the place where we left off., Act 2d, scene 17th — and now 
We'll have luncheon. 

Gasleigh (l.). Don't speak of it. Your play was a feast 
for the gods. 

[READ Y Tamborini and Corliss, to enter r. c. 

ENTER Mrs. Bargiss, r. i d., with bundle of MSS. ' ^ 

Mrs. Bargiss. Here it is. {Hides her package as she sees 
Bargiss.) Oh, my dear — would you mind leaving the Pro- - " 
fessor with me for a little while ? I want to consult him. "^ 

Bar. (c). Certainly, my love. I'll go and get a cracker y. 

and a glass of wine {crosses to l.) till lunch is ready. {EXIT, j 

L.) [Gasleigh stretches out his hand, as if to detain him. ^ -, 

Gas. I don't care if I do — 

Mrs. B. {detains him). Now, Professor, here are my treas- 
ures. I call them " Sonnets to a Fiancee." Wouldn't that ^ 
make a capital title for our book ? 

Gas. {exhibiting the cravings of hunger). Capital. 

Mrs. B. I'll read you a few before lunch. 

[Gasleigh groans. 
Come to my sitting-room. We won't be disturbed there. - ^ 

Gas. But there's time enough. I'm in no hurry. You 
are perhaps too busy just now preparing for the meal. 

Mrs. B. Oh, not at all. We usually have a very light 
lunch. [Gasleigh groans. . • 

I'll begin now and finish in the afternoon. {Going, reads a "• 

verse.) Beautiful ! Exquisite ! 

"Take — oh take those lips away i 

That so sweetly were forsworn." 

[EXIT, r. I D. ■ ^ 

Gas. I m dying with hunger, and they fill me with wind. 

[EXIT,. R. I D. 

ENTER Tamborini and Corliss, r. c. 



44 Seven -Twenty -Bght J 

Corliss (l.). So you find Lord Lawntennis is deeply 
interested in No. 728? 

Tamborini (r.)- Si, Signor. He's crazy. {Gesture.) 
Out of his head until he find the young lady who is the 
original. 

Cor. {uneasy; aside). The deuce ! An English lord for a 
rival ! This is likely to be very inconvenient. 

Tam. I seek — but I find not. 

Cor. Then you have no clew to the young lady ? {Aside.) 
Thank goodness ! {Crosses to R.) 

Tam. I knocked {gesture) at every door in the neighbor- 
hood where they send me. Ma niente. One haf no daughter. 
One haf seven {counts them), but they haf not been to Nahant. 
Maledetto del ' Ostia ! Another one haf a daughter, but she is 
so small. {Gesture of baby in arms.) Baby! Hush-a-by- 
rock-a-baby. Corpo di bacco ! Ma Jinalemente. I found a 
young lady. 

CoR. The original ? 

Tam. Non^ ma dio ! There is a difference. The one is 
all gold on top — the other is ebony. But one, she is hand- 
some. {In ecstasy.) Sapette, what shall I sayl {Searches 
for English in vain, and bursts into Italian.) Una bella 
ragazza con cecchi I {Points to eyes.) Cost grandi/ {Big 
eyes.) Una bocchina cosipiccola / {Small mouth.) 

CoR. Yes, I know. Piccolo ! {Attitude of flute player.) 

Tam. Ed ovechi {ears ) f Ebbere una bellazza come non 
vide mai. 

CoR. {pats him on the back). Very good, old fellow ! My 
sentiments exactly. You describe her perfectly. 

Tam. Ah ! You laugh because you think my heart {ges- 
ture) run away {gesture) with my stupid head. {Gesture^ 

CoR. It all comes from your warm Italian blood — your 
sunny nature. 

Tam. (l.). Si, si. The hot blood. In the American 
there is no heart — no pulse — but {drowsily) tick-a-tack, 



..ii:!.3Sik-i-V 



'■_«<^-v -fsrrt'^C^'^- ~ -^ "• ~* j»i«R»^-r-^ - ' ^•!i-_5;.».* 



Or^ Casting the Boomerang* 45 

tick-a-tack (marking time with his forefinger). Ma, in my 
(Italian veins, it is tick-a-tack, tick-a-tack ! ( Very fast.) 
' Cor. Of course ; we all know that. But what has brought 
you back to this house ? - 

Tam. {mysteriously). It was — to make sure. There is a 
mystery. 

Cor. Indeed ! {Aside^ Then he can't be got rid of too 
quickly. {Stage, crosses to l.) 

Tam. {cunningly). I wish to study the young lady here 
once more. 

Cor. {forgets himself). The devil you do ! {Crosses to 
L. ; turns back.) You sha'n't do anything of the kind. {Re- 
covers.) I mean, it will be a mere waste of time. The 
matter is quite simple. You were informed at Nahant that 
the young lady and her family came from this vicinity. 

Tam. That is what they told me. 

\READ Y Flossy, to enter r. c. 

Cor. You come here and you don't find her. 

Tam. Si, si. 

Cor. That proves conclusively that you should have 
inquired not where she came from — but where she wejit to. 

Tam. {dilates with the idea of the thing). I never thought 
of that. 

Cor. That's because in an Italian head the ideas go 
tick-a-tack, tick-a-tack {imitates slowly), while in the Ameri- 
can cranium they go tick-a-tick, tick-a-tack. {Very fast.) 

Tam. Ha, ha, ha ! Evero — E — vero ! That is good. 

Cor. So you must go at once to Nahant and begin 
again. 

Tam. Of course ! Of course ! 

Cor. I recommend the greatest haste. A trail may 
be lost in a day. It's half-past twelve. {Looks at watch.) 
There's a train at 12.50. 

Tam. I will just take leave of the Signora. They have 
been very kind 



-A-^'S^'aff*;-' "~ ■ *■''■•• -.^:^"''Vi■■^^<^w!SF>^!y'^I'.,^»•.%^-^^«s^ 




46 Seven -Twenty -Bglit; i 

Cor. You'll miss the express. Here, get your hat on 
{opens it for him and puts it on), and go at once. I'll give,, 
any message you choose to leave. 

ENTER Flossy, r. c. 

Flossy. Why, Signer, are you back again ? 

Cor. (aside). Too. late! 

Tam. Signorina ! {Profound bow, and aside to Corliss.) 
The likeness is wonderful. 

Cor. {crosses to c). I beg you won't detain the Signor, 
Miss Florence. He has to start for Nahant at once. 

Tam. But I — 

Cor. {seizes Tamborini by the lapel of the coat and pulls 
him round table towards c). The train is 12.50. You are 
losing time. 

Flos, {sweetly). If you are going back to Nahant — 

Cor. Yes — by the express. 

Flos. (r.). Still seeking the original and unattainable ? 

Tam. Si, Signorina. Ah ! If you would help me. 

Flos. (r.). Is his lordship so impatient ? 

Cor. (l. , crosses to her suddenly). I beg your pardon. 

Flos. What is it ? 

Cor. You are losing the pin out of your hair. I'm 
afraid it's all coming down. {Takes it out suddenly and 
hands it to her^ It was just falling out. 

Flos, {claps one hand to her back hair and holds it. Takes 
the pin with the other). Thank you — excuse me — only a 
minute. (Runs out r.) 

Cor. {sees her to the door). All's fair in love. {Stands 
with his back to the door — to Tamborini.) You are saved. 
Fly to the station. You'll iust have time to catch that 
train. 

Tam. (l., looks at his watch). Madonna ! I must hurry. 
A rivederci, Signor. {Profound bow, and then to himself.) I 
will telegraph to his lordship that I am on the scent at last. 



r^tSg. _Ul: 









I 

I Or^ Casting the Boomerangf* 47 

Oh, I guess I know whatever is what. {To Corliss.) A 
rivederci, Signer. A rivederci. {EXIT, r. c.) 

Cor. {coming from door). At last ! It was a tight 
squeeze. She's dazzled by his lordship, that's clear. 

\READ Y Hollyhock and Mrs. Hollyhock, to 
enter r. 3 d. 

Flos. ( re-enters and looks for Tamborini). Is he gone ? 

Cor. Yes. I couldn't keep him any longer. 

Flos. (r.). Keep him ? I rather thought you were trying 
to force him away. 

Cor. I plead guilty — for I wished to speak with you 
alone. I have an important communication to make to you 
— in the strictest confidence. 

Flos. Thank you — no more secrets. {Crosses to u) 

Cor. It is not mine — it's your sister's. 

Flos. My sister's ? 

Cor. Her husband has been hunting for a letter which' 
she refused to show him. At last she was pressed so 
closely that she pretended to produce it. It was a circular 
which does not fit the envelope. Your brother-in-law did 
not notice the fact, and gave me the paper and envelope — 
but if he should ask for them — 

Hollyhock {outside, at r. door). Come along and tell 
him yourself. 

Cor. Sh ! He's coming. There, give them to your sis- 
ter. {Crosses to l.) My duty is done. 

[Dives into his pocket and gives her, in his haste, his 
mother 's letter with the other, as 
Hollyhock and Mrs. Hollyhock ENTER, r. 3 d. 

Hollyhock (r.). There, my love, is the man who put it 
in my head. Make your acknowledgments. 

\READ Y JoBBiNS, to enter r. c. 

Mrs. Hollyhock {crosses — gives hand to CoTii.iss). How 
nice of you. When you marry, your wife will have a splen- 
did husband, I'm sure. • 



'CT. ■'<^i3p?^«|SS!* 



48 



Seven -Twenty - Eight ; 



i-.,;^ 



/ 



Cor. {crosses to Hollyhock). I don't know. He may 
turn out like the rest of 'em. Think more of his potatoes 
than of her. [Hollyhock and Corliss ^^ up r. 

Mrs. H. (l.). Just think, Flos — we are going to New 
York for the winter. The house is taken, and we start 
to-morrow. 

Flos. (l. c). Sh I I have something particular to give 
you. Come one side where Paul can't see us. 

[^They go up and Flossy explains, holding the papers 
in her hand as she speaks. 

HoL. {down R.). I'm really thankful to you. {Shaking 
hands with Corliss.) You should have seen how happy 
she was. She was speechless. 

Cor. That's fortunate — I mean that's likely — I mean 
that's all right. 

Hol. I had no idea a woman could change so quickly. 
I suppose you were waiting to hear that cry of joy. 

Cor. (r. c). Yes, I want to telegraph for the house. 
Well, it's settled. When do you start ? 

JoBBiNS appears, R. c. 

Hol. To-morrow. They'll get on without me here. I'll 
give Jobbins, our farmer, his instructions. Oh, there he is. 

JoBBiNS. One moment, if you please, Mr. Paul. 

Hol. {joining Jobbins). Jobbins, you're just the man I 
want to see. [Corliss saunters up. 

Mrs. H. {to Flossy). Heavens, what a mistake ! 

Flos, {handing the papers^. So here they are. Now I've 
done my duty. {Crosses to c. and exchanges signs with Cor- 
liss.) \CoKLiss Joins Hollyhock. 

Mrs. H. (l., aside). I must tell Paul the whole truth at 
once. After all, what great harm was there in Flos having 
her picture painted ? {Looks at papers in her hand^ and sees 
Corliss's letter.) This isn't mine, Flossy I 

Flos. What ? 



■^A ^'iL^*l' ■&- ™ - 



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f 



I Or, dstingf the Boomerang* 49 

Mrs. H. You gave me one of your letters in mistake. 
{Gives the letter^ and goes up to Hollyhock, r. c.) 

Flos. One of mine? {Opens letter?) What is this ? My 
name ! {Reads over rapidly — turning letter over to see signa- 
ture and address^ 

HoL. {at back, r. c, to Jobbins, cheerfully). Just fix itl 
any way you like. And mind, Jobbins, don't send to ask| 
me an)rthing after I'm gone. I won't answer, I warn you % 
{Talks with Mrs. Hollyhock and Corliss.) 

Flos, {aside, flaring up). This is too much! It's a letter 
from his mother, and about me. {Reads and sits on sofa, l.) 
" I think you mix up her graver faults with lighter ones, and 
estimate both at the same value. Now, to me, the fact that 
she is coquettish, romantic, hot-headed, and fond of admira- 
tion, is more serious than the fact that she touches the 
wrong keys at her piano-lesson or spells vinegar with an 
e-r." {Crumples the letter,) It's maddening ! 

[READ Y Mrs. Bargiss, to enter r. i d. i 

Job. Well, Mr. Bargiss won't take no interest — 

HoL. Oh, let the whole thing go, then. 

Job. But, Mr. Paul — 

HoL. I tell you I won't be bothered any more. I've 
given up farming. {Taking his wife around the waist, and 
down L.) I'm going to spoon a bit. 

[EXIT Jobbins, r. c. Hollyhock and Mrs. Hoir 
LYHOCK up to window, L. c. 

Flos. So /was the thing he came here to inspect ! I'm 
the piece of tapestry — the bric-a-brac with the internal 
defects. The man's impudence passes all bounds. Oh! 
I could — 

Cor. {unconscious, comes down to her, r.). I hope. Miss 
Florence, we shall have the pleasure of seeing you in the 
city this winter. 

[READY Bargiss, with sandwich, napkin, and 
\ glass of wine, to enter l. d. 



50 Seven -Twenty -Bglit 1 ^ 

Flos, {looks at him ; then bitingly). Excuse me {crosses to 
R.), Mr. Corliss. I have something to do in my room. I 
must practise at my piano a couple of hours, and take an- 
other lesson in spelling vinegar. Good-morning ! {Bounces 
out, R. I D.) 

Cor. {astonished'). What's wrong now? That's a new 
phase of her character — sudden squalls. She's wonderful. 

ENTER Mrs. Bargiss, r. i d., speaking off. 

Mrs. Bargiss. No. G-a-r. Now, don't hurry. Finish 
your sherry and read the rest. 

Mrs. H. {crosses to c, releasing herself from Hollyhock). 
Here's mamma. 

Mrs. B. Ah, there you are. I want your assistance. 
Your father must be persuaded to go to New York ; if not 
permanently, at least for a season. 

Mrs. H. {going to sofa, l.). We are with you, mamma. 

Mrs. B. {to Corliss, r. c). I count on you, too, Mr. Cor- 
liss. {To Mrs. Hollyhock.) Where's your father ? 

Mrs. H. In his room, I think. 

Mrs. B. {crosses to l. c). He's killing himself. He's ty- 
ing himself down so close to his literary labors down here, 
Mr. Corliss, that I'm sure he'll kill himself. {Goes to door l., 
and knocks^ Are you busy, darling ? Can you leave oil for 
a moment and come out ? 

Bargiss {outside l. d.). I can come out, but I can't leave 
off, Hypatia. 

ENTER Bargiss, eating a sandwich and drinking from a 
glass of sherry — napkin under his chin. 

What is it, darling ? 

Mrs. B. Oh, I'm so glad to see you eat. {To others^ He 
never eats down here. {To Bargiss.) Professor Gasleigh 
has made a most valuable suggestion. If you act on it, you 
secure the success of your literary career. 



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Or^ Castingf tkc Boomer angf* 51 

' Bar. (eaiin^). No! What is it? ,' '^ 

Mrs. B. All life and movement is in the city — in New 
York. We can accomplish nothing in this out-of-the-way 
place. We must be on the spot. 

\^J?£AD Y GASLEiciH, with sandwich^ wine, and hand- 
kerchief, to enter r. i e. . 

Bar. Does the Professor advise that ? 

Mrs. B. Certainly. If you work for the public, you must 
live in public. If you wish people to know you, you must 
know people. Am I not right, Mr. Corliss ? 

Cor. It's quite conclusive. 

HoL. (l.). Come with us, father-in-law. We start to-mor- 
row. 

Bar, You do ? 

Mrs. H. (crossing to Hollyhock). Yes, papa. 

Mrs. B. You see the children even understand what's 
good for them. 

\jREAD V Jessie a«^ Flossy, to enter r. c. and^. i d. 

HoL. We do. {Attempts to clasp Mrs. Hollyhock. She 
eludes him under her mother's eye^ 

Bar. Well, I'm willing. There's no need for much pres- 
sure. In fact, I had the same idea myself. 

HoL. and Mrs. H. Bravo, papa ! 

Mrs. B. {hurries to door, r.). Come in, Professor. We've 
succeeded. Come in. 

ENTER Gasleigh, r. i e., with a sandwich and sherry. 
Handkerchief tucked under his chin. He and Bargiss 
meet c. Both eat and drink simultaneously a la Dromios. 

Gasleigh. I congratulate you. This is a great moment. .If 
Guttenberg, when he invented the art of printing, could have 
foreseen a triumph like this, he would — {His eye meets Cor- 
liss's, who stands up r. smiling calmly at the group, and he 
stops.) Ah — another son-in-law of yours, Mr. Bargiss ? 

Bar. {crosses to Corliss). No, sir — this is a young friend, 



i,:j^-K">ro-;----.'i :-«ew^«»-!-^- ..,-.: ;':.!■,■.• ^ ;- j^;-; , 






•' ■! ? ?r*S|- 



52 



Seven -Twenty - Eigfht ; 



a theorist, who says that every man in the world is bound tb 
make a great ass of himself once in his life ; aims too high 
and boomerangs himself. 

Gas. (c). We defy him and his theory. 

ENTER Jessie, r. c. 

Jessie. Luncheon is ready. 

ENTER Flossy, r. i d. 

IR E AD Y curtain. 
Flossy. Here I am, papa. 
Bar. {to Gasleigh). Give your arm to Mrs. Bargiss. 

[Gasleigh crosses to Mrs. Bargiss. 
Mr. Corliss, give your arm to Flos. 

[Corliss crosses to Flossy. 
Flos, {crosses to 'Bxrgiss, passing Co^'liss). No, papa; I'll 
take you. {Takes Bargiss's arm as he faces up.) 

Bar. Ha, ha, ha 1 Sorry for you, Corliss. This comes of 
boomerangs. {As all go off.) 

Cor. We shall see. {Goes up with Hollyhock aw^f Mrs. 
Hollyhock.) \RING curtain. 

CURTAIN. 






-')ii-?^^,^^Vi^:Aiif&t:^.-.. ■ 



Or^ Gtsting the Boomerangf* 53 



ACT III. 

SCENE. — An elegant apartment in a New York flat. To 
the window^ l. i e., there is a practicable ledge or shelf 
and a shade. Also heavy curtains. The door to the room 
down stage r., opens out. There is a tall mirror^ r., be- 
tween the doors. Near window^ l., a desk covered with 
writing-materials. A revolving book-holder beside it. 
Bust of Dickens and two candelabra on desk. On mantel- 
shelf, c, a bust of Shakespeare and two candelabra. 
Divan, c. Table and easy-chairs in front of chimney, c. 
Doors, R. c. ; R. I E. ; R. 3 E. ; and l. 3 e. Door opening 
into second room, l. c. Chandelier, c. 

"Nature" Waltz from "The Merry War," at rise 
of curtain. Begin before curtain. Jessie discov- 
ered, arranging flower in her hair before the mir- 
ror. READ Y Tamborini, to enter l. c. 

Jessie {waltzing). 

"Fair Melanie — so they say all can see, 
Loved fair nature, only nature, 
As she roamed the wild wood free ; 
Oh, what delight fills the heart, heaves the breast, 
When all dreaming, idly dreaming, 'neath the trees .one lies to rest." 

{Speaks.) Oh, how that music do go through me. I can 
never raise my arms to do a bit of work when I hear a waltz 
nowadays, and I've been to three balls in three weeks — 
and another one to-night, if I can get off to go. I'm going 
to wear Missis' garnet silk. She so seldom wears it. It 



5i Seven -Twenty -Eight; ; i * 



I 



can't make no matter to her whether it stays packed away 
in her trunk, or whether it goes to the ball with me. And 
I've sewed on a pair of Mrs. Bargiss's mousquetaire tops to 
my three-buttoned kids. The bracelets will just cover the 
seams. Oh, that music 1 (Smgs and waltzes^ Oh ! I do 
hope they'll play that waltz to-night. I got these flowers 
from Miss Florence's old leghorn. They'll make a lovely 
wreath. Oh, I wouldn't miss the ball to-night for a million. 
{Gets up stage, r. ; comes down with waltz step, and waving her 
arms^ 

ENTER Tamborini, l. c. ; he is entranced by the music, and 
dances ad lib. At the finish she is about to fall, and he 
catches her a la ballet, holding his opera-hat over her head. 

Why — Mr. Tamborini ! {Runs down with a little crj>.) 

[READ Y Mrs. Bargiss, to enter r. i d. 

Tamborini (r.). It was beautiful. It was exquise. 
Brava ! Brava ! Ah, you make a prima ballerina, my child. 
You have the applomb, the abandon, the throw of the true 
ballet. 

Jes, Do you think so, Mr. Tamborini ? I do so love 
music and dancing. 

Tam. Basta! There is no music any more. This Keel- 
perd and Zolifon style of thing is all stuff. 

Jes. (l.). Keelperd ? Oh, you mean Gilbert and Sullivan. 

Tam. And there is no more ballet in this country. In- 
stead of talking" with the eye, the hand, the finger, the foot, 
the toe — they come down to talk with the poor little insig- 
nificant tongue that nobody can see. {Enthitses.) Ah ! Ah ! 
If you come with me to my country, I show you some things. 

Jes. {coolly waves him off'). Yes. Exactly. But please 
— who do you wish to see — old Missis or young Missis ? 

\_He makes an enthusiastic dash for her, 
{She bobs under his arm and bounds off "r.) I'll go and tell 
them both you're here. {EXIT, r. i e.) ' . 



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\ Ot, Ousting the Boomefangf. 55 

Tam. (kissing his hand after her). Una bella ! The Signo- 
ra Bargiss have send for me ! A mysterious communica- 
tion that she can give me perhaps some information about 
the portrait. 

ENTER Mrs. Bargiss, r. i V).^ preceded by Jessie. 

Jessie. Missis is coming. 

Mrs. Bargiss. Oh, have you come, Signor ? 

{READ Y Corliss, to enter l. c. 

Tam. Signora ! {Profound bow.) I have received your 
little letter. 

Mrs. B. {to Jessie). Tell Miss Florence I wish to see 
her. [Jessie goes off^ r. c, attitudinizing till off. 

{To Tamborini.) Have you been to Nahant? 

Tam. Si, Signora, by the express train. {Gesture^ I 
found nothing but the cold weather that freeze — the ice, 
the snow, and the hotels shut up like everybody was dead. ~^ 

Mrs. B. (r.). I wrote you that I might be able to give 
you a hint regarding the original of that portrait. 

Tam. {ecstasy). Ah, Signora, if I could only telegraph 
the smallest gleam of hope to his lordship ! 

Mrs. B. Possibly you may. I cannot announce anything;; 
definite as yet — but I have a few important questions to-; 
ask you first about his lordship. . 

Tam. Signora ! Ask me everything. Here is my whole 
heart. {As if tearing it out and offering it with both hands.) 
Make your own selection. What do you want to know ? 

Mrs. B. Come into the library. We shall be undis- 
turbed. 

Tam. Ma si — with pleasure. {Follows her, keeping step to 
dance music, which still continues. She turns. He checks him- 
self and bows profoundly^ La piego, Signorz, la piego. 

{EXEUNT, R. I D. 

ENTER Jessie, r. c, with a pair of Flossy's shoes. 

. , Jessie. Yes, Miss Flos. I'll see to it. 



56 Seven -Twenty -Eight; ! j 

ENTER Corliss, l. c. ' 

Corliss. Will you have the kindness to give my card to 
Miss Florence at once ? Ah, Jessie 1 Wasn't Signor Tam- 
borini here just now ? 

Jes. {laughs). Yes, sir. I should think he was. 

Cor. What did he want ? {^READ Y Flossy, to enter r. c. 

Jes. I don't know. He's with Mrs. Bargiss now in the 
library. {Crosses to l.) But he danced for me most beauti- 
ful, and tra-la-la'd divinely. {Imitates Tamborini, holding the 
slippers over her head in her L. hand.) 

Cor. (r.). What are those ? 

Jes. Miss Flossy's shoes. 

Cor. {aside). Charming slippers ! (7^ Jessie.) And you 
are sure Signor Tamborini didn't see her ? 

Jes. Oh, sure. 

Cor. {gives her money). Add that to your collection of 
coins. {Stroking the slippers.) Dear little slippers 1 

Jes. {laughs). He, he, he ! {Going.) Oh, he /> in love I 
I'm so glad ! {EXIT, l. c.) 

Cor. She laughs at me. She's right. I am a fair sub- 
ject for ridicule. I'm growing more and more in love with 
this girl every day, and yet I don't know whether she cares 
a rap for me or not. Haven't been able to bring her to an 
explanation since she's been in New York. All I do is to 
stand at my windows opposite and gaze at these windows. 
She never appears. And now this infernal Italian is back 
again. I must get the start of him, and have an under- 
standing with Flos at once. 

ENTER Flossy, r. c. Home evening dress. 

Flossy. O Mr. Corliss 1 {Going down r.) 
Cor. Won't you grant me a short interview? 
Flos. I would with pleasure, but mamma has sent for 
me. 

Cor. I should feel greatly obliged if you would give me 



Or^ Gisting; the Boomerang. 57 

the preference, as I have been watching my opportunity for 
some days. 

Flos, (aside). And so have I. 

Cor. I have something to say which I could not utter to 
any other ear on earth but yours. 

Flos. That's very odd. Won't you be seated ? {Aside.) 
Now he'll find out whether he can get the bric-a-brac he's ^ 

looking for, or not. If I died the next minute, I'd say no. 
{Sits R.) 

Cor. {seated c). May I speak candidly ? 

Flos. You can do your best, /hate all subterfuges. | 

Cor. Then, Miss Florence — in one short word — :3 

Flos, {interrupting purposely). Apropos^ did you know - 

that Signor Tamborini has returned ? 

Cor. {indifferently). Indeed! {Aside.) I wish I had 
sent him to Russia. : '^ 

Flos. Are you acquainted with Lord Lawntennis ? 

Cor. I never met his lordship. His reputation abroad, 
I believe, is that of a crack-brained sportsman. He came ;^ 

here to hunt buffaloes. History is silent as to any other - 

particulars. But to return to our subject. What I have to % 

say may — ':^ 

Flos, {as before). Pardon me — another question. Can ? 

you tell me — as an authority on such matters — they say, 
you know everything — how the wife of an EngliPl earl -:/^ 

ranks at the European courts — especially at Ber^ and St. 
Petersburg? - ^^te ■ 

Cor. Does his lordship interest you so mucli^^ '" 

Flos. Isn't it quite natural ? The story Sounife like a 
fairy-tale; so unlike our matter-of-fact customs. A noble 
earl falls in love with the portrait of a gM — with her por- 
trait only — without knowing anything about her — without 

caring for anything except that he loves h^. {significantly) , 

and not even asking who she is — what she is — sends his /^ 
messenger to find her and — 



58 Seven -Twenty- Eight } ^ li * 

Cor. And lay his hand and title at her feet. You think 
she ought to feel very happy ? 

Flos. To be the wife of a millionaire lord — unquestion- 
ably. 

Cor. And yet she knows nothing of him except that his 
name and his fortune are real. That is very little. 

Flos. And, pray, what is wanting ? 

Cor. The one thing without which there can be no hap- 
piness. Let me quote from Heine, — 

" Angels call it Heavenly bliss, 
The demons call it Hell's abyss. 
But mortals call it Love." 

Flos. (Jaughs). Ha, ha, ha ! Oh, love 1 (Crosses to l.) 
Ha, ha, ha ! Love, to be sure ! Excuse me for laughing. 
I know nothing about it, although the novels I've read are 
quite full of the subject, and very charming it is there. But 
what little I've seen in real life appears to me utterly un- 
reliable. 

Cor. {rises). Why, Miss' Florence? 

Flos, {sarcastically). Because the gentlemen of to-day 
appear to set too high a value on their love and too little on 
ours. They think it sufficient to come grandly forward, after 
a severe internal struggle at giving up their freedom, and say 
to the girl: "I love you." It's this overpowering sense of 
their giving everything and getting nothing — this doing a 
favor and making a sacrifice and driving a bargain, that re- 
pels and exasperates me. I don't call that love. {Crosses to 
r., changing her tone and position suddenly.) But you had 
something to say to me. {Sits r. c.) 

Cor. {hesitating). Had — had I ? 

Flos, {impatiently). Didn't you ask me for an interview ? 

Cor. {sits c. ; lo7v tone). Yes. But that's all over now. I 
— I have nothing to say. 

{READ Y Mrs. Bargiss, to enter r. i d. 



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, - - *r?7s^'7'>Z*W^^^^S¥r?^^^^ ^^' 



Of, Casting the Boomerang. 59 

Flos, (rises). Indeed! Then I may consider myself dis- 
missed? 

Cor. {making a step). I beg of you — 

Flos. Pray, make no excuses. If you are not as polite as 
usual, the fault is doubtless mine. It sha'n't happen again. 
{Going to door, r.) 

Cor. {hotly). You shall not leave me like that. You shall 
listen to me. 

[READY ]'E.s?,i^, with candelabrum, letters, and ^a. 
pers, to enter L. C. , 

Flos, {with varying feeling). Oh, no, I shall not. I will 
not listen to you now — nor hereafter. Excuse my departure. 
Good-evening. {EXIT, r. i d., hiding her own emotion^ 

Cor. {solus). That was plain enough. But what could I 
expect t She's dazzled by a title and wealth like all the rest. 
Merely human and natural. {Suddenly.) No, it's not. To 
look like an angel — beguile a poor wretch, and then cut him 
off with questions about earls' wives and court etiquette — . 
and yet I feel I could win her. I know how, if I could only 
do it — if it wasn't so impossible for a man in love to preserve 
his common-sense. 

ENTER Mrs. Bargiss, r. i d. 

Mrs. Bargiss. I heard you had called, Mr. Corliss. 
Cor. I won't keep you — from your visitor. 
Mrs. B. Signor Tamborini ? Oh, he's going. I left Flos 
to see him off. Pray, stay a minute longer. I haven't had an 
opportunity of telling you how greatly we are indebted to you 
for getting us this house. 

[READY Bargiss, with four pens, to enter l. b 
Cor. (l.). I trust your visit to the city fulfils your expec 
tations. 

Mrs. B. To be honest — not quite. 
ENTER Jessie, l. c. ; she brings in a candelabrum, not lighted^ 
and some letters and papers. Puts former on table near 
mantel, and arranges papers on desk near window^ l. 



'^•s?^'^M -^.^'i^'?M ' 



m^ 



60 



Seven -Twenty - Eight ; 



Cor. Indeed ? 

Mrs. B. It will prove of great value to my husband's lit- 
erary future, of course (/le bows) ; but as for me, I'm not used 
to being left so much alone. Paul and Dora have found their 
city friends, and are never at home. My husband is away all 
day with the Professor, and spends his nights writing in his 
study. 

Cor. I have noticed, from my window opposite (points), 
that he keeps his lamp burning until daylight. {Gets l.) 

Jessie, {at desk, l. ; turns suddenly to Mrs. Bargiss with a 
cry). Oh, dear ! Oh, ma'am ! That reminds me — Mr. Bar- 
giss's lamp. . 

Mrs. B. Well, what's the matter with Mr. Bargiss's lamp ? 

Jes. I took it to be mended yestjerday morning, and for- 
got to bring it back. I'll go for it ait once. {EXIT, l. c.) 

Mrs. B. Then he had no lamp last night. That accounts 
for his being put out all this morning. He didn't mention it, 
but I knew something was wrong. ^{Crossing to desk, L.) 

ENTER Bargiss, l. d., pens behind his ears, one in his mouth, 
and one in his hand, as before. 

Bargiss. Has the mail come, Hypatia } Ah, how are you, 
Corliss .? 

Mrs. B. {gets letters, etc., from desk, and gives them to him). 
Here it is, dear. You look worried, darling. I'm so sorry 
you are vexed. 

Bar. {opening paper). It's only natural — sitting up all 
night to write. I'm simply overworked, Hypatia. 

Mrs. B. But you were not writing last night, surely. 

Bar. {yawning, and looking through paper). Ye — es. I 
was busy at my society novel. 

[Mrs. Bargiss looks at him and then at Corliss. 
(Bargiss goes on lying, unconscious of their glances^ It's a 
strange thing now, Mr. Corliss — but I can work only at, 



( 



. '^Sk^^^^lxM^^iki^.^,.. . ... --■&:,: . 



.•:fi;r'^i^^jefii:;-Jr--^-^ii;2iiLfr. .■ 






Ot, Casting the Boomerang* 6i 

night. When every one is in bed — when all the rest of the 
world sleeps — I go on, adding chapter to chapter. 

Cor. (r. c, trying to help him out). Oh, yes — I see — by 
the light of your solitary candle — like Tasso in his dungeon. 
{He makes signs to Bargiss, who fails to take.) 

Bar. Candle ? No, I always work with a lamp. 

Mrs. B. (l.). Launcelot, did you work last night with a 
lamp, too .? 

Bar. Certainly, my love — why not ? (l. c, crosses to r.) 

Mrs. B. {recoiling^ sotto voce^ l.). And there was no lamp 
there! {Aloud.) Launcelot! 

Cor. {takes his hat — aside.) The lamp is about to ex- 
plode. I'll get out of the way. {EXIT, l. c. 

Mrs. B. Launcelot ! 

Bar. (r. walks up). Now what's the matter with you ? 

Mrs. B. Your lamp has been gone for repairs the last 
two days. 

Bar. {appalled, his Jaw falls ; a moment's pause. Sinks in 
chair r. of divan.) Heavens ! 

\jREAD Y Gasleigh, to enter l. c. 

Mrs. B. You have told me a falsehood, Launcelot — a 
petty, mean falsehood — a falsehood to cover some hiddei^ 
wickedness. Oh 1 {Sinks on divan, c.) 

Bar. {starting up). My dear, let me explain. 

Mrs. B. Explain ! {ibises.) I should think so. You 
shall explain where you have been passing your nights — for 
this isn't the first time, I'm sure of it. 

Bar. (r. c). First and foremost, my dear, Professor 
Gasleigh — 

Mrs. B. Never mind Professor Gasleigh. You have] 
been guilty of a shameful deception. You've kept that! 
lamp burning in your room every night — nobody dared to 
go in for fear of disturbing you. When I woke in the mid- 
dle of the night, I sigbed to think how you were toiling — 
and you were not there — you — {In aivful tone.) Where 
were you, Launcelot ? 



KV-irki*'.:.-',. 






62 Seven -Twenty -: Eight j 



•;.-^' 



Bar. (m<?i', r.). I was out with Gasleigh. [6"^^ groans. 
{He echoes her groan?) Just listen to me, and don't growl in 
that infernal manner. 

Mrs. B. I won't listen. I know the worst is coming. 

Gasleigh appears at l. c. 

Gasleigh. May I come in ? (c.) Are we resting from 
our toil, eh ? What chapter have we got to ? Have we 
reached the climax, eh ? 

Bar. (r.). Yes, I guess we have. 

Mrs. B. You come in very good time, sir. I shall be 
glad to hear your version of this scandalous affair. 

Bar. My wife won't believe — 

Mrs. B. How can I ever again believe what you tell me ? 

Gas. {aside to Bargiss). What is it ? 

Bar. {aside). My lamp was at the shop getting repaired 
last night. [Gasleigh whistles. 

Mrs. B. Is this the customary thing among you literary 
men? 

Gas, {aside to Bargiss). She knows you were out ? 

Bar. {same). Every night. Fix it up. Fix it up. 
{Nudges Gasleigh. Mrs. Bargiss almost detects him, as she 
crosses c. He pretends to be smoothing something in his sleeve.) 

Mrs. B. (c). Where have you and my husband been ? 

Gas. (l., boldly). At work. 

Mrs. B. {to Gasleigh). At work ? 

Bar. At wo — [Mrs. Bargiss turns and looks at him, 

— ork. 

Mrs. B. By lamplight ? 

Gas. No, my dear madam. Do you think a poet labors 
only at his desk ? This is the least and the last of his toil. 
Tie must go forth — mingle with his kind — and study every 
phase of human nature. 

Mrs. B. Is it necessary to do that at night? 

Gas. The nature of man is furtive, like the savage beast, 



■} 



\ v.- 



1 



•y^l^:. "- '"-.-'j^-'^ -■:- ' !%- ^J^-'' :.<■■ .-"■' ~- . ';.-^ ~ ■• ^•ft'^'pfr:?" v^ - ;. ■ ■■^■-'>;- 
^ Or, Casting the Boomerang* 63 



At night it emerges from its den and prowls. We have 
tracked it to its lair. I may incidentally mention that we 
have gone where, if we were not poets, we could not have 
ventured with propriety. 

Mrs. B. (shocked). Launcelot! 

Gas. (l.). Our mission preserved us from contamination. 
Your husband is writing a novel of life — how can he picture 
vice unless he sees it ? 

Bar. You hear, my dear ? 

Gas. The dark side of life is invisible by day. Look at 
Dickens — 

Bar. Yes, my dear — look at Dickens — Charley. 

Gas. He wandered through the slums of London in dis- 
guise. , 

Bar. Never came home for days. 

Gas. Do you think he asked his wife's permission to 
make that pilgrimage of duty ? . 

Bar. Certainly not. 

Mrs. B. (c). But your health, Launcelot. You can't 
stand it. You are not strong. 

Bar. Oh, yes I am. I'm bound to the wheel. What 
matters it ? The spirit may burst its bounds. Let it come. 

Mrs. B, But why not have told me ? Why deceive your 
own wife ? I could have seen that you were comfortably 
wrapped up before you went out. 

Gas. Poets love mystery, my dear madam. 

Bar. (r., taking her hand affectionately). I wanted to spare 
you anxiety, my darling. 

Gas. That was his only solicitude. 

Bar. (r., brings Mrs. Bargiss down). You see, it's all right. ' 

Mrs. B. (sighs). I don't know. 

Bar. I didn't do it for the sake of pleasure. Many a . 
time, in a scene of gayety, I've wished myself somewhere ' 
else, [She presses his hand^ 

so we went somewhere else. {Crosses to c.) 



k 



" ' - '- '^■'■Y'[' '■-■'."_'- ~j '■■\-^' ::■■■"■" \'^i*i*-> ■ " 

64 Seven -Twenty -Eight J 

[^SAg looks at him dubiously. 
But I've collected enough material for my society novel, 
and now, thank goodness, I can stay at home. 

Mrs. B. O Launcelot, if you only — 

Bar. (l. of Mrs. Bargiss). Let's say no more about it. 
Go and wash your eyes, so the children won't notice any- 
thing. There — there — 

Mrs. B. {aside, going). I begin to think it would have 
been better if we hadn't come to this wicked city. {EXIT^ 

R. ID.) 

Bar. {to Gasleigh). Got out of it better than I could 
have expected. It's a shame to impose upon her. A better 
woman never lived. 

Gas. Lucky for you. I wish I could get out of my 
trouble so easily. 

Bar. What's the matter ? 

Gas. My printer refuses to go on without money. The 
" Scattered Leaflets " must stop. Just when the circulation 
was increasing, too. Your new poem was to come out in the 
next number. It would have made a tremendous sensation. 

Bar. What's to be done ? 

Gas. Pay or stop. {Stage r.) 

Bar. How much does he want ? 

Gas. {sinks on chair, r. c). No matter. Let it go. But 
I should like to have had the credit of bringing out that 
poem of yours. Still, none of us can accomplish all we 
dream of. Let it go. 

Bar. (l.). Don't be down-hearted, old fellow. Tell me 
how much it is. 

Gas. a trifle. A mere bagatelle. A beggarly, pitiful 
trifle. One of the grains of sand that genius stumbles over 
and breaks its neck. A mean, pitiful, little, petty three hun- 
dred dollars. 

Bar. Three hundred dollars ! ! I'll give you a check for 
it. There — cheer up. 






Of^ Casting the Boomerang. 65 

Gas. (risgs — firmly). No, no ; you shall not. 

Bar. Yes, I will. 

Gas. Never! Let it perish. Let me perish. Let the 
magazine perish. 

Bar. No, no. I don't care for my own part, but it gives 
my wife so much pleasure to see me in print, that I'll pay 
any reasonable sum to gratify her. 

Gas. {seizes his hand). Bargiss, you are a great man. 
Bargiss, there's more poetry and fact in that speech than in 
all Byron's works bound together. 

Bar. {cheerfully). My forte may be poetry, I'm pretty 
sure it isn't prose. My novel doesn't seem to get on. Col- 
lecting material is quite jolly — but I don't see my way to 
piecing the thing out. By the way — talking of piecing 
— how's my piece getting on? Have you seen the mana- 
gers ? 

Gas. (r.). You can't see the managers. They are never 
in. I've sent Charles the Fat to them all — and he's back 
on our hands. 

Bar. Must have lost some flesh in going the round, eh ? 

Gas. We'll carry out my first idea, and print it act by 
act in the " Scattered Leaflets." Then you'll have the 
whole crowd begging for it. Now, they won't even read it. 

Bar. (l.). Won't read it ? Won't read the ndw plays 
sent them ? What on earth have they got to do ? 

Gas. By the way, you spoke of your want of practical ex 
perience in theatrical matters, and wanted to go — 

Bar. {quickly). Behind the scenes. 

Gas. {triumphantly). We can get on the Academy stage 
to-night in the auxiliary corps — how's that ? 

B^R. As supernumeraries, eh ? What's the jpera ? 

\^READY Hollyhock and Mrs. Hollyhock, in 
full dress ^ with wraps, to enter L. c. 

Gas. I don 't know ; but you go as a high priest. 

Bar. Ain't I rather short for a high priest ? 



66 Seven -Twenty -Eight; " ' 

Gas. a tall hat and a long beard make you all right. 
Then you'll have a first-rate chance to study the whole 
mechanism of the stage — scenery — decorations — actors — 
and dancers. (J^ig in side.) 

Bar. No ! I really think it indispensable, don't you ? 

Gas. There's only on j difficulty — your wife. Will she 
consent, or must you slip off ? 

Bar. {decisively). We'll slip off this time. Just once 
more — then we'll shut down. {Crosses to r.) 

Gas. How will you manage ? The lamp no longer holds 
out to burn. 

Bar. {struck with an idea). Stop — I can have a head- 
ache — and then go to the study and lie down — lock my- 
self in so as to be undisturbed. You engage her in conver- 
sation, then I vanish. 

\_Mutual crossing and turn up stage. Take hands as 

they advance, singing from " Puritani." 

{Suddenly stops and puts his hand on Gasleigh's mouth.) 

Sh! Here come the children. {Crosses to "l.) I'll go and 

make out that check for you. {EXIT, followed by Gas- 

LEIGH, L. D.) 

ENTER Hollyhock and Mrs. Hollyhock, l. c, in full 
dress and with wraps, as if from street. Both very gay and 
fashionable. They take off over-wraps as they talk. 

Mrs. Hollykock (r.). Thank goodness, we are home 
again. I'm ready to drop. 

Hollyhock. I feel as fresh as a daisy. Let me assist 
you. 

Mrs. H. Oh ! {Sinks on divan, c.) Fresh as a daisy, in- ' 
deed ? That dinner has just ended me. We have been on 
the go from morning till night. Drive, park, lunch, matinie, 
receptions, Delmonico's — I want to go to bed. {Yawns.) 

HoL. Lie down for an hour, darling, and you'll be ready 
for the theatre. .^-^ 



^^ji^iii^Siie^ 






. -_ . Oif Casting: the Boomerang, €^ 

Mrs. H. (eyes closed). Have we got to go to the theatre 
to-night? 

* . [READ Y Bargiss, with bank-check, and Gasleigh, 

to enter l. d. 

HoL. The Evartses asked us, you know. They have a 
"box. I got a bill at the hotel to see what it was. {Takes 
out a large handbill from his tail-pocket.') It's Janauschek in 
two of her best parts, — tragedy and comedy. " Leah, the 
Forsaken," and *' Come Here." Come here — that makes 
you want to go there, doesn't it? How's the attraction? 
{Spreads it out over his chest^ 

Mrs. H. {languidly). I don't feel like stirring. 

HoL. Every woman ought to see " Come Here. " It's an 
example for 'em. Nobody talks in the whole piece but the 
man. Awful warning to the sex. {Lays bill on c. divan.) 

Mrs. H. {on divan). Let's stay home for once. 

HoL. {dissatisfied). We needn't have come to New York 
to do that. {Crosses and sits r.) 

Mrs. H. I hardly recognize you, Paul. Since we left 
home you have changed your whole nature. You can't rest 
— you burn for excitement. 

HoL. The spirit of the metropolis, my darling. It's in the 
air. 

Mrs. H. But you overdo it, darling. Now, sit down calmly 
while I preach a sermon. 

Hol. Heavens 1 {Brings chair to her.) 

[She talks soothingly while he gesticulates forcibly. 

ENTER Bargiss, l. d., with Gasleigh, handing him a check. 

Bargiss. There you are. That will keep the " Scattered 
Leaflets " together for a while longer. {They go aside, l.) 

Hol. {to Mrs. Hollyhock). Well, I'm content for to- 
night. But to-morrow we must go to the opera. Your 
mother asked Tamborini to get us a box. There's a rush to 
see the new contralto. '{Rises and comes forward briskly^ 1 



68 Seven -Twenty -Bglit ~ p *t 

say, father-in-law, will you go with us ? No, you can't. You*re 
too busy. 

Bar. {suddenly putting his hand to his head). I'can't — I've 
got such a headache. Oh ! 

Mrs. H. O papa ! That's overwork. I know it's caused 
by what you've been doing. {Stage r.) 

Bar. (aside). No, it's caused by what I'm going to do. 

Mrs. H. Can't you take a little rest? 

Bar. (l., crossing to Mrs. Hollyhock). Ah, ah ! Such a 
hammering ! Just here 1 Oh, oh ! 

Mrs. H. Poor papa 1 {Coming to him.) 

Bar. {walks up and down). Don't pity me. Call your 
mamma. 

Mrs. H. Yes, papa ; and I'll get some ice to put on it, 

too. {EXIT, R. ID.) 

HoL. {advances to Bargiss). I'm awfully sorry about that 
head — where did you get it ? 

Bar. Sh ! Don't say anything. I haven't got a headache. 

HoL. Why — what ? [Gasleigh gets around to r. 

Bar. I have the utmost confidence in your discretion, 
Paul. {Takes his hand.) And so I want to whisper that it's 
a little ruse to enable me to go out this evening with the Pro- 
fessor. 

HoL. {assuming an air of severity). Ahem, papa ! {Shakes 
his head.) 

Bar. (l.). What do you mean, sir, by shaking your head } 
It's what Dickens did. They all do it. 

Hol. {coolly). Where are you going ? 

Bar. {whispers). To the Academy. 

Gasleigh {whispers). Behind the scenes. 

Hol. (c, brightening). No 1 Can you get behind the 
scenes ? 

Bar. Yes ; as a supernumerary. I'm to be disguised as a 
high priest. 

Gas. (r.). Yes. A high priest in the opera. 






Or^ Casting the Boomerang. 

HoL. OhI 

Bar. As you are going to stay at home to-night, you can 
keep Hypatia quiet while I'm gone. 

HoL. (serious). No, I can't do it. 

Bar. Why not ? 

HoL. I will not assist in a plot to deceive my wife's 
mother. (Stage^ r.) 

[READ Y Mrs. Bargiss, to enter r. i d.^ 

Bar. Then you'll betray me ? 

HoL. No, sir. I'll go with you. (Back to c.) 

Bar. (staggers against piano, sits down and stares at him ; 
Gasleigh also^ You — what? 

HoL. (crosses to him). Now, don't become excited, papa. 
If you go, I go. 

Bar. (l.). Have I warmed a serpent ? 

{READ Y Jessie, with folded napkins and some 
cracked ice in a bowl, to enter l. c. 

HoL. (c). It's my duty to watch over you. 

Bar. (starts up). You go behind the scenes in a promise 
cuous gathering ? Suppose you should be recognized ? 

HoL. I will go also as a high priest. (To Gasleigh.) I 
suppose there's more than one ? 

Gas. (r.). You can take my place. I was to be a 
conspirator. 

HoL. The very thing. Just in my line. As a conspira- 
tor, I'm unequalled. I believe it requires the hat pulled 
down — the cloak drawn tightly — thus — the dagger grasped 
In the right hand — and a hoarse laugh in three syllables. 
Ha, ha, ha! How's that? {Crosses to n.) 

Gas. Capital. 

[Bargiss and Hollyhock stride across to r. A/I 
laugh heartily, particularly Bargiss, 7vho suddenly 
breaks into a groan at sight of Mrs. Bargiss. 

ENTER Mrs. Bargiss, r. i d. 



-f^:T'']^i--^^^.^J^ti, 



-^-i --' »*..' 



W Seven -Twenty -Eight} 



Mrs. Bargiss. Why, my darling — I didn't know you had 
a headache. Dora has just gone for some ice. 

Bar. {gruffly). Of course I've got a headache. I always 
have a headache when I'm put out. 

Mrs. B. {gently). It isn't my fault this time. 

Bar. I didn't say it was, did I ? Oh, my head, my head! 
{Up and down stage l.) 

ENTER Jessie, l. c, with napkins folded, and cracked ice in 

bowl. 

Jessie. Here's the ice, sir. {EXIT, l. c.) 

Mrs. B. I'll put on the bandage directly. Have a little 
patience. 

Bar. That won't help it. {Goes up and pushes her hand 
away.) 

Mrs. B. Well, I never ! {Goes to ice.) 

HoL. {suddenly puts hand to his head, and walks up and 
down R.) Oh ! O — o — hi 

Mrs. B. Have you a headache, too ? 

HoL. Ever since dinner, and it's growing worse every 
minute. Oh ! Oh ! 

Bar. Oh ! Oh ! Such a hammering at the back of my 
head. ( Up and down.) 

HoL. Mine's right in front. {Up and down.) 

Mrs. 'B.'{bri?igihg down an iced cloth). Do let me put this 
on. 

Bar. You may — it won't -do any good. \_She ties it on. 
Oh ! Oh ! The cold water's running down my back ! 

HoL. I'll try one, but it'll only make me worse, I know. 
{Goes to table and puts one on, assisted by Gasleigh.) 

Gas. (l. of divan, putting bandage round HoLLYHOCK's_/j7r<?- 
heaa). There's nothing like rest for a headache. Quiet and 
undisturbed rest. Let me suggest that you lie down for a 
few hours. 

Bar. {meekly). Do you think it would do me good ^ 



■■~^v- 



f 



Of^ Casting the Boomerang* 71 

Mrs. B. Of course it will. Go, dear, at once. 

Bar. I'll lie on the sofa in the study. 

HoL. I'll go with you. It's the only place I'm sure of 
quiet. Oh ! Oh ! My poor head ! {EXIT, l.) 

Bar. {to Mrs. Bargiss, who assists him). Don't let any 
one come near me — on any account. Oh ! Oh ! My 
head ! {As he goes l., he winks and shakes his foot at Gas- 
LEIGH. EXIT, L. D.) 

Mrs. B. Poor Launcelot ! He never had such a head- 
ache before. I do think I ought to sit by him and bathe his 
temples. {Resolute^ and about to go after him.) I will. 

Gas. {coughing slightly). Ahem 1 

Mrs. B. {turns. He makes a sign of silence to her). What 
is it? 

Gas. Something for you. {Taps his breast pocket.) A 
little surprise. 

Mrs. B. I'm getting a good many surprises to-day. 

Gas. The " Sonnets to a Fiancee " are out. 

Mrs. B. At last .? 

Gas. They'll be on sale at every bookstore ^o-morrow. 
What do you think of it? {Produces a red cloth bound 
book, gilt-edged, and gilt sides and back^ This is the first 
copy struck off and bound. Permit the humble printer to 
present it to the esteemed patron, in honor of the gifted 
author. 

Mrs. B. (l.). Oh, how kind of you, Professor ! And 
Bargiss suspects nothing ? 

Gas. Nothing. 

Mrs. B. {shakes his hand). And the binding is so rich. 
{Crosses to R.) 

Gas. It — a — cost — a little more than the estimate. 

Mrs. B. I'll pay it cheerfully. {Opens book and reads 
title.) " Sonnets to a Fiancee, by Launcelot Bargiss." 
{Crosses to r.) 

Gas. {takes his hat). My dear madam. I see that you 



■i 



72 Seven -Twenty -Eight; ^ * P 

would be alone with this memento of your happiest years. 
Allow me to take my leave. 

\READ Y Jessie, with student-lamp, to enter l. c. 

Mrs. B. Oh — a — Professor — there's another little 
thing. We must get the book noticed well, you know. Will 
you see that the critics are put in good humor ? 

Gas. (strides to her ; folds his arms). Madam, you touch 
me on a sore spot. Against the gigantic monopoly of mod- 
ern criticism — against the critics' ring I have set my face. 
We are going to crush it. 

Mrs. B. (r.). How ? 

Gas. We are going to have the authors criticise their 
own works. It will be the triumph of the 19th century 
over the customs of the past. {EXIT, l. c.) 

\^REAZ> Y Flossy, with book, to enter r. c. 

Mrs. B. {comes down, turning over the pages). How pretty 
they do look in print ! With every one comes a memory. 
This came after his first bouquet. {Recites.) 

"I sent thee late a rosy wreath, 
Not so much honoring thee, 
As giving it a hope that there 
It might not withered be." 

{Speaks.) And this came enclosed with the invitation to a 
picnic. {Recites.) 

"When daisies pied and violets blue, 
And lady-smocks all silver white, 
Do paint the meadows with delight." 

Ah ! {Closes book with a sigh as 

Jessie ENTERS, l. c, bringing in a student-lamp, not 
lighted, which she places on table c, and lowers the win- 
dow-shade L. 
It will be a grand surprise for Launcelot at breakfast to- 
morrow. I'll put the volume under his napkin. He'll dis- 






Of^ Casting: the Boomerangf* 73 

cover it — he'll read all his little sonnets in print — and 
it will be the sensation of his life. 

{READ Y Mrs. Hollyhock, with letter, to enter r. 3 d. 

Jessie {timidly, l.). Please 'm, I've a favor to ask of you. 

Mrs. B. What is it, Jessie ? 

Jes. I'd like to ask if I could go to the Private Coach- 
man's ball to-night, ma'am. 

Mrs. B. Certainly not. You know this is Betty's night 

ENTER Flossy, with book, r. c. 

off and, besides, Mr. Bargiss is ill. If anything happened, I 
wouldn't have a person to send with a message. 
Jes. {begins to cry). I never have any time off. 
Mrs. B. You can go some other night. 
Jes. Some other night won't be the Private Coachman's 
. ball. {EXIT, L. c.) 

[Flossy /a/j book on table, and looks for another. 
Mrs. B. What are you doing, Florence ? 
Flossy. I'm getting something to read. {Selects a book 
and brings it down.) 

[Mrs. Bargiss takes if out of her h'and, as a matter 
of course, and looks at the title on the back. 
Mrs. B. " La Bruy^re's Characters ! " {Hands it back to 
Flossy.) That's the book Mr. Corliss recommends so 
highly. 

Flos, {confused). Is it ? I had forgotten. {Turns leaves 
over and sits on divan^ 

ENTER Mrs. Hollyhock, r. 3 d., with a letter. 

Mrs. Hollyhock. Where is Paul — does any one know? 

Mrs. B. (c). In the study, with papa. 

[Mrs. Hollyhock about to go. 
You mustn't distuirb them. They are both suffering from 
headache. [READ Y Jessie, to enter l. c. 



74 Seven -Twenty - Eigfht J 

Mrs. H. (r.) No wonder, with the life we are leading. 
{Shows letter.) Here's a letter from home. It's written by 
Jobbins to me. 

Mrs. B. To you ? • 

Mrs. H. {crosses to l.) Yes. He has written eight times 
to Paul and got no answer. Everything's at sixes and 
sevens on the farm. 

Mrs. B. {takes letter and glances over it). It's too bad. I 
told you he wasn't the husband for you, Dora. You'll bear 
me out that I warned you against that man. {Hands letter 
back.) When Flossy's turn comes, I'll have a little more of 
my own way. {Stage r.) 

[READ Y Tamborini, to eftter l. c. 

Flos, {comic despair, c). Oh, mamma, I sha'n't trouble 
you for a long time yet. {Puts her book on table, c.) 

Mrs. B. (r., affectionately stroking her chin). We don't 
know, child. We don't know. I may have something to 
say to you soon. 

Flos, {starting). Mamma ! 

Mrs. B. {soothingly) . Oh, it's nothing yet. 

ENTER Jessie, at L. c, and savagely. 

Jessie. Signor Tamborini wants to know if you are at 
home. 

Mrs. B. {crosses to Jessie). What kind of a tone is that 
to speak to me ? Show Mr. Tamborini up instantly. 

[jESSiEy?/«^j herself out, l. c. 
That girl has been ruined by the city. All this because she 
can't go to the Private Coachman's ball. {Changing tone 
and smiling mysteriously^ Florence, I think you had better 
not be present when Signor Tamborini delivers his message. 

Flos. (r. quickly and seriously). Mamma — has this visit 
any connection with what you have just hinted to me ? 

Mrs. B. Perhaps, darling — perhaps. 



Or^ dsting the Boomerang. 75 

Flos. (Aof/y). Gh, mamma! Pray don't think of Lord 
Lawntennis. I couldn't — never, never! (EXIT, r. c.) 
Mrs. B. We'll see when his lordship offers himself. 

ENTER Tamborini, l, c. 

Tamborini. Oh, Signora ! I haf been so fortunate as to 
secure the box for you for the new opera to-morrow that you 
wanted. There will be a great crowd. Immense success — 
splendid. They haf a full dress rehearsal this evening. I 
just come from there. 

Mrs. B. Thank you, Signor. My daughter's husband will 
be greatly obliged. 

Tam. Oh, the tickets are for your son-in-law? 

Mrs. B. Yes. 

Tam. Then I might as well have handed them to him on 
the stage before I came away. 

Mrs. B, (r.). Handed him — on the — stage ? 

Mrs. H. (l.). Mr. Hollyhock? 

Tam. Ma si. Yes. I just saw him there. He is one 
brigand — one bandit. He is a — {gesture of eating souf) he 
is a — supe I 

Mrs. B. ) . What ? 

Mrs. H. I ^t'Sether). ^^ husband? 

Tam. {aside — taps left elbow with his right hand, while his 
left is held to forehead ; crosses to R.). I make one blunder. 
His wife and moder not know he is out. 

Mrs. H. Mother ! My husband on the stage ! Behind 
the scenes 1 I'll go there this minute. I'll see for myself. 
{Rushes up for her cloak.) I'll drag him home, costume and 
all. 

\^READ V Jessie, with Mrs. Bargiss's cloah and 
hat, to enter l. c. 

Mrs. B. {following her^. Dora, you will do nothing of the 
kind. A man. like that is not to be run after. He is to be 
despised, {Very vigorously^ 



76 Seven -Twenty - "Eight ; 

Mrs. H. (l., tearfully). I do despise him — but I want to 
see him with my own eyes. {Gets cloak.) 

Mrs. B. No, no. I'll send your father. He is the proper 
person to take care of my gentleman. 

Tam. Is that so ? Ah, then, it is all right. Mr. Bargiss 
can take care of him. He is there, too. He is one high 
priest. {Describes flowing beard, etc.) 

Mrs. B. (screams). What? Bargiss? My husband, too ! 
{Touches bell furiously.) Jessie! {Up c.) Jessie I My cloak 
and hat ! {Furiojis^ 

Tam. I make one oder mistake. {Renews pantomime of 
tapping elbow.) 

Mrs. H. It's an outrage — an insult. {She walks to and 
fro.) [Rain and lightning. 

Mrs. B. Signer Tamborini, will you conduct my daughter 
and myself to that place instantly ? {To Mrs. Hollyhock.) 
We'll drag them home just as we find 'em. \Rain. 

Tam. But, Signora, it is raining. \Loud storm. 

It is great storm. 

ENTER Jessie, l. c, with Mrs. Bargiss's cloak and haty 
which she helps her to put on. 

Mrs. B. No matter. I'd go through floods and deluges. 

Tam. But how shall I get you in there ? I know not. 

Mrs. B. You'll find a way. {Suddenly bringing him 
front.) Signor ! You are seeking the original of that por- " 
trait. I'll show her to you to-morrow if you take us on that 
stage to-night. 

Tam. {with fire). With that promise, Signora, you may 
twist me round your leetle finger. {Gesture^ Come ! 

\The storm is very furious. 

Mrs. B. {going up). Now, then, Dora. We'll take a 
carriage. 

Mrs. H. (jgoing up). Now, then, mamma. 



Ot, Casting the Boomerangf* 77 

Tam. There will be a tableau on that stage to-night. 

l^EXEUNT L. c. 

Jessie. Well, What's up now ! All of 'em running head 
first to the theatre. She don't seem to be frightened as 
much as she was about the old gentleman's illness. Per- 
haps he's better. I guess they won't miss me if I run down 
to the ball for an hour. {Peeps in at room^ r. c.) Miss 
Flossy's there. {Looks towards door l.) And the gentlemen 
are in there. {Turns chandelier down : stage haif dark.) I'll 
just have one dance, and get home before they get back. 
{EXIT, L. c.) 

The noises of the rain are very strong, with flashes of lightning 
and distant thunder. The stage is deserted a few seconds. 
Then the door of Flossy's room opens, and she ENTERS 
with a little shaded lamp, lighted. 

[READ V Postman, with bag, to enter l. c. 

Flossy. Where did I leave my book ? 

[ Violent gust of wind and rain. Shutters slam. 
{She starts, frightened.) Oh, what a flash ! I had it here. 
{Finds book on table^ Ah, here it is. What a storm ! It's 
enough to frighten one. I always did tremble at a storm. 
{Goes to window, raises the shade a little and peeps out.) 
Ugh ! What weather ! I pity any one who has to go out. 
{Looks across street.) He's at home. At least there's a 
light in his room. How I hate a man that never goes out, 
but walks up and down in his room like a polar bear in his 
cage. He comes to his window. He looks across. {Angry, 
pulls shade down.) What business has he to be staring 
across ! {Peeps cautiously through corner of shade.) That's 
another of his impertinences. I wonder how he'd like to 
have anyone staring across at him ! 

\_Front door-bell rifigs. Lightfiing. 
Now he leaves the window. Oh, dear, I hope he didn't 
notice my peeping over ! [Bell again. Rain and wind. 



78 Seven -Twenty -Eight J 

I wouldn't have that for the world. He's just capable of 
suspecting that I peeped on his account. 

\_Ben again. Lightning. Storm ceases. 
Who can be ringing so ? Is Jessie deaf ? {Goes to c. and 
calls.) Jessie! Jessie! She seems to be out. {Goes out 
L. c. and presently returns after calling " Jessie " outside^ 
She's actually gone out. I suppose I must open the door 
myself. \Bell again. 

I'm coming ! {EXIT, l. c.) 

Returns immediately, followed by a one-armed veteran Postman 
with a bag. He is dripping wet — rubber cape, etc. 

Postman, (l.). Well, young lady, you let me ring long 
enough. 

Flos. I don't know where our girl has gone. 

PosTM. Letter for Hollyhock — Paul. {Hands it.) Noth- 
ing else. 

Flos. You are very wet. Wouldn't you like to go down 
to the fire ? 

PosTM. {in doorway). Thank you, young lady. I haven't 
time. But I am dripping like a sponge. There's two cents 
due on the letter. It's short one stamp. 

\_Lightning and rain. 

Flos. I'll get it for you. {Goes to r. u. e.) Paul! 
{Knocks) Paul ! 

PosTM. What weather ! ( Wrings his hat.) 

Flos, {opens door and looks in r). Nobody there. {Rec- 
ollecting.) Oh — he's with papa. {Crosses and opens door 
L.) Not there, either. {Exit -l., calling.) Papa — Paul! 
{Re-enters, showing some alarm.) Where are they all? 
{Runs down to r. i e.) Mamma! {Exit, calling " Ma-rnxna. 
— Dora ; " re-enters, more alarmed.) Mamma ! Where are 
you ? Nobody here ? Good heavens, there's nobody at 
home ! I'm alone in the house 1 



Or, Castings the Boomerang:* 79 

PosTM. {smiles — in doorway). Well, no matter. I'll col- 
lect it next time. I must be off. {Goi?ig.) 

Flos, {pulling him back). Oh, you mustn't go. I can't 
be left here all alone. 

PosTM. But, young lady — 

Flos, (bringing him down — terrified). Pleasej — please 
don't desert me. I'll die of fright. I'm all alone in the 
house. 

PosTM. {soothingly). But it's not so bad, not so bad. 
It's true something did happen in this house once. 

[Flos screams and hides her face in his cape. 
There was a man found under the bed, I think. 

Flos, {screams and clings to him). Oh, oh, oh! You 
must stay. I won't let you go. 

PosTM. {gently releases himself). You've got your hands 
all wet. I'll dry them in my handkerchief. {Does so.) I'm 
really very sorry for you, but I can't stay, you see. I'm 
only a postman, and I have to get through my round. 

Flos. But what shall I do ? I can't stay in this house, 
and I can't run out in the street alone. 

PbsTM. Isn't there anyone you can call in ? 

Flos. Not a soul. {Crossing r.) 

PosTM. None of the neighbors ? 

Flos, {crosses to l.) Neighbors ? {Sudden thought ; ru?is 
to window joyfully^ Yes, he's there. He would come — 
I know he would. {Eagerly to Postman.) He lives across 
the way. He'd come if I'd ask him. 

PosTM. {going up). I'll go and tell him. 

Flos. {On his r., catching him by the cape). Oh, oh, oh ! 
{Shuddering.) Don't leave me — don't leave me ! We'll 
bring him over. Help me to light all those candles. No, 
I'll light them in front of the window. Why didn't I think 
of him at first ! 

\_Talks through bus. of lighting all the candelabra and 
handing them to Postman to place in window. 



80 Seven -Twenty - Eight ; 

She lights the first and gives it to him, telling him 

to light the others, and during her speech gives time 

for him to do so. He lights those on mantel. She 

brings the one she lights from c. of l. table, then 

meets Postman coming down with another, which 

he gives to her, and gets the other off the mantel. 

He's so good — so honest — so noble-hearted. You know 

he's a relation of ours — the gentleman across the way. 

PosTM. {bringing down candelabrum). Yes, miss. 

Flos. Now I'll raise the shade. So. He must notice 
this. He'll wonder what I do it for. {Crosses to l.) Now, 
you stand right here. {Places him in front of window^ And 
keep beckoning. So. {Shows him.) You see ? So. Take 
something in your hand — something white — a large paper. 
{Sees play-bill on divan.) This will do — what is it ? {Looks.) 
Oh, this will be splendid. " Come Here." " Leah,, the 
Forsaken " — that'll bring him. {Folds it so as to show the 
words "Forsaken. Come Here.") Now, hold it up so. 
{She holds it on the man's breast, standing behind him^ and he 
beckons for Corliss to come over.) 

PosTM. There's some one at the window. 

Flos, {eagerly). Where ? {Looks.) It's he. He looks 
out. He throws up his window- He nods. He waves his 
hand. {Laughs in glee and claps her hands almost hysteric- 
ally^ He's coming ! He's coming ! {Crossing l.) Now 
we can put out all the lights. ( When lights are out all but 
one.) I'm so glad ! 

PosTM. {puts bill on divan). Now I may go — 

Flos. Oh, yes. I'm not at all afraid, now. 

PosTM. — and attend to Uncle Sam's business. 

Flos, {dips down in her pocket). There, that's for you. 
And with all my thanks, besides. 

[jR£AL> V Corliss, with hat and overcoat, to enter l. c. 

PosTM. Thank you, miss. I'm a father, too, and got 
gals of my own. Nothing but gals. Some folks they say, 



Or^ Casting the Boomerang, Si 

" oh, for a boy ; " but, for me, I say nothing goes to a man's 
heart like a daughter — a true, good daughter. Good-bye, 
miss, good-bye. I'll let the gentleman in. 

Flos, {suddenly). Don't say anything to him. I mean, 
don't tell him anything. 

PosTM. {nods and smiles^. All right. I won't. 

\Bell heard. 
There he is. Good-bye, miss, good-bye. {EXIT, l. c.) 

[Music. 

Flos, {realizing her situation). But what shall /tell him ? 
I can't say that I was scared, like a baby. But I must say 
something. What will he think ? What have I done ? It's 
awful to be alone with him — and so late at night. 

Corliss {heard outside in a cheery tone). Thank you. 
Very good. I'll go up. 

Flos, {listens). He's coming ! My heart's in my mouth. 
{Looks around helplessly.) What shall I do 1 {Looks at door 
R. I E.) Ah ! That's it. {Runs to door and opens it about 
afoot. She holds her hand on the knob^ 

ENTER Corliss, l. c. Throws his overcoat on chair and 
places his hat on it — then comes down. 

Corliss. Did I understand rightly, Miss Florence — you 
called me ? 

Flos, (r., whispers). Sh ! Not so loud. Mamma 1 {In- 
dicates room R.) 

Cor. {not comprehending). I beg pardon. 

Flos, {whispers). In there ! She's lying down on the 
lounge. She's had such an awful attack of — something. 

Cor. {softly). I'm very sorry. 

Flos, {speaks off to an imaginary Mamma). Mamma! 
Mr. Corliss is here now. {Comes forward, leaving the door 
open.) You must forgive me for calling you over, but I 
really didn't know what else to do. We were alone — and 
all of a sudden mamma was taken. I sent the girl to the 



92 Seven -Twenty - Eight ; 

drug store — but if she gets worse, some one must go for a 
doctor. Mamma thought you'd be angry at being sent 
for — 

,CoR. (goes quickly towards door r.). I'm entirely at your 
servfce, my dear mad — \¥\.0?&y prevents him going further. 

Flos. And I thought you might be angry, too — after 
the way we parted this evening. 

Cor. {offers his hand). Let us forget it. 

Flos, {takes hand warmly). Agreed. {Suddenly with- 
draws^ Mamma and I thank you ever so much for coming. 

Cor. It's not worth mentioning. {Again towards door.) 
I only regret, my dear madam, the occasion is such a sad 
one. 

Flos, {draws him away gently by the arm). Sh! Don't 
speak so loudly. She has a dreadful headache. Here's the 
cracked ice ! {Up to table c.) 

[Corliss gets round to l. of table. 
I got it for her. I'm going to make her a fresh bandage. 
{Stands r. of table ; he l.) [They speak in subdued tones. 

Cor. Can't I help you ? I know how to nurse people. 

Flos. How did you learn ? 

Cor. On the plains. You didn't know I'd been in the 
army ? 

Flos. Were you ? \They work at ice and bandages. 

Cor. Yes. I'm an old West Pointer. Had my little 
service with the redskins. 

Flos. Did you fight the Indians ? 

Cor. a little. 

Flos. I saw from the very first that you had a military 
air. You are so bold. 

Cor. No. I'm a great coward. 

Flos. What — really? 

Cor. Judge for yourself. I wanted to win a girl's heart. 
I found it occupied, and I retreated without striking a blow. 

Flos, {innocently). You mean she loved another "i 



Or^ Castingf the Boomerang:* 83 

Cor. No. The enemy in possession was a little con- 
temptible imp we call a whim — a caprice — an obstinate 
coquetry — that I ought to have charged and routed at the 
first. 

Flos, (confused^. You believe her as bad as that ? 

Cor. That's as bad as a good, pure, lovable girl can be. 
Her heart should be as open as the day. I thought to find 
hers so. 

Flos, (shy, yet curious). Did you love her ? 

Cor. {warmly but gently). I love her yet. 

Flos. Was she handsome ? 

Cor. {warmer, yet subdued). How can I describe her? 
Her eyes looked into my very soul, and its chords were 
stirred by the voice from her laughing mouth as the harp is 
stirred by the touch of the player. You see — I tremble 
even as I think of her. 

Flos, {rises, and softly). Was she good ? 

Cor. {roguishly). Between you and me, she was a little 
good-for-nothing flirt — but a charming little flirt for all that. 

Flos, {one step away). And it's all over — forever.? 

Cor. It is over. She fluttered away from me like a but- 
terfly — or like a thoughtless child sporting in a meadow. 
But if I could catch her — could hold her for one moment 
pressed to my heart — her eyes riveted on mine — I could 
whisper such eloquence in her ear that her heart should 
answer with an echo of my love. {Tries to take her in his 
arms.) 

Flos, {evading him, pretends to listen). Sh ! Mamma ! 

Cor. Did she speak? 

Flos, {confused). I think she called me. I'll take the 
ice in to her. {Takes napkin with ice and pretends to go in 
room R., but stands behind door so audience can see her.) 

Cor. {kisses his hand after her). Oh, you delicious little 
— I think I need some ice myself. {Ties a bandage around 
his head.) 



84 Seven -Twenty - Eight j ^ 

Flos, {behind the door, holding the bandage to her head). 
I'm all in a glow. How refreshing this is! If my heart 
didn't beat so! I'm actually afraid he'll hear it thump. 

Cor. (applies ice to his pulses). It must be the lights that 
make it so hot. (Blows out the remaining candelabra.) 

[Stage half dark. 

Flos, (while he is blowing out the lights). He loves me ! 
He really loves me ! I could cry out with happiness. But 
he mustn't make love to me now. Not to-night. (Suddenly 
alarmed.) It's getting dark. What has become of the 
lights ? (Comes out.) What are you doing, Mr. Corliss ? 

Cor. (pulling his bandage off, con/used). I — I — was 
merely putting out some of the lights — I thought they 
made it too — too — warm for your mother. 

Flos, (goes to chandelier and pulls cord. It lights up). Oh, 
no. Mamma is much better. ( With intention.) We needn't 
speak so low any more. 

Cor. But it was so pleasant. 

Flos. No, no. Mamma asks as a particular favor that 
you speak quite loudly. 

Cor. It's the worst thing in the world for a head- 
ache. 

Flos, (loudly). She likes to hear us talk. It entertains 
her. (Takes up play-bill.) Did you ever see these plays .? 

Cor. (angrily). No — yes — of course. 

Flos. Are they good ? 

Cor. (struck with an idea). Have you never seen them ? 
(Takes bill from her^ 

Flos. Never. 

Cor. Oh, the love-scenes are magnificent. 

Flos. Do tell me about them. 

Cor. Leah stands there — as you do — her lover ap- 
proaches (steps towards her) to urge his passion in glowing 
words. [Flossy turns away. 

She listens to him with averted head and downcast eyes. 



Or, Gustingf tibie Boomerangf* 85 

{Withfire^ Oh, look at me — give me one glance to bid 
me hope — to say you love me ! 

Flos, {starting up^ and in fear). Why, Mr. Corliss ! 

{READ Y Mrs. Bargiss arid Mrs. Hollyhock, to 
enter l. c. 

Cor. {recollecting himself, crosses to r. and speaks off). 
That's in the play. Oh, I recollect every word of it. {To 
Flossy.) He sees her blush — then tremble — then, unable 
longer to restrain himself, he takes her hand. {He seizes 
Flossy's hand?) He presses it to his lips. {Does so.) It's 
the play, you know. {Tenderly.) Then, with gentle yet 
passionate words, he beseeches her to answer and tell him 
that she loves him. 

\READ Y Bargiss, Hollyhock, and Tamborini, 
to enter l. c. 

Flos, {turns her head to him and gives him her other hand 
also). There ! 

Cor. {clasps her in his arms). My darling — my own ! 

Flos. Is that in the play, too 1 

Cor. Yes — that's the best of it. 

Flos, {breaks away and runs to door l. c). Heavens, I 
heard the door close. Some one is coming. {Throws a kiss 
to Corliss, and at door, r. c.) I can't stay. Good-bye! 
Good-bye ! 

Cor. {tries to call her back). Florence ! {Comes down, 
juSilant.) She's mine! {Stops as he glances at door r., and 
remembers Mamma.) Heavens, her mother has heard every- 
thing ! {In a nervous whisper to audience.) Well — all I've 
got to do is to go right on. Why not get her consent at 
once ? {Buttons up his coat resolutely and goes to half open 
door; bows and speaks off.) Madam — as you have heard 
all — my avowal to your daughter — the declaration of a 
passion which knows no bounds — 

\^ffere Mrs. Bargiss and Mrs. Hollyhock appear 
L. c, and stand in doorway. 



&6 Seven -Twenty -Eigfht; 

— and whicn dates from the moment I first beheld her 
picture. I have no excuse to make for approaching you at 
this moment with the favor I have now to ask — 

\_R E AD Y curtain. 
Mrs. Bargiss. What's that ? {Makes a step fonvard.) 
Cor. Eh? {Turns ; sees lA^s. 'Bxkgiss.) Byjove — my 
boomerang. 

\^Darts up c. and is met by the apparition^ l. Q., of 
Bargiss and Hollyhock, in costume^ urged in by 
Tamborinl 
Bargiss. Boomerang, eh ? Look at this ! 

\_RING curtain, 

TABLEAU AND CURTAIN. 



Or, Casting tixe Boomerang. S7 



ACT IV. 
SCENE. — Same as in Act. III. 

TIME. — Morning. ENTER Jessie, l. c, with card on 
salver and humming the " lolanthe " Galop. Trips for- 
ward with an imaginary partner. READY to enter, 
Mrs. Bargiss, r. i d. ; Tamborini, with bouquet, l. c. 

Jessie. Well, I got off this time all right. Miss Florence 
promised not to tell that I stole off and left her all alone. 
She says she wasn't a bit frightened — she had her thoughts 
to keep her company. I'd rather have one of those private 
coachmen to keep me company. {Dances and hums the galop 
again until she reaches Mrs. Bargiss's door, R., and knocks^ 
Here's Signor Tamborini's card, ma'am. He's waiting. 

ENTER Mrs. Bargiss, r. i d., severe but calm. She takes 

the card. 

Mrs. Bargiss. Show Signor Tamborini up. 

Jes. Yes'm. 

Mrs. B. Where is Mr. Bargiss ?. 

Jes. In his study ma'am, with Mr. Hollyhock. 

Mrs. B. Very good. You can go. 

[Jessie starts o_ffin a galop. 
Jessie ! 

[Jessie subsides and EXIT, l. c. 
I believe I have the requisite firmness to dispose of those 
gentlemen this morning. (^Sits at desk l. to write.) For 
one of them, at least, the time has come. 

ENTER Tamborini, l. c, in evening dress as usual, carry- 
ing a superb bouquet. 



S8 Seven -Twenty - Eight ; 

Tamborini. Signora ! 

Mrs. B. (c). You are determined to lose no time, Sig. 
nor Tamborini. 

Tam. (r.). As soon as I leave you last night, I tele> 
graph to his lordship that the lady in the picture is found, 
and that I learn her name to-day. His lordship he tele, 
graph back instanter. Voila. {Hands despatch^ 

Mrs. B. {crosses to r., reading). " Place at the feet of tha 
Signora the loveliest of bouquets, and my profuse acknowk 
edgments." 

Tam. {handing bouquet). Signora, with the profuse ac- 
knowledgments of my Lord Lawntennis. 

Mrs. B. {takes bouquet; reads on). "When you have 
learned the name of the fair original, telegraph me at once, 
that I may communicate directly with her." {Gives back 
telegram and smells bouquet.) His lordship is exceedingly 
polite. 

Tam. {produces note-book). And now, madame — the name 
and address of the young lady. I telegraph in your own 
words. l^READ Y Bargiss and Hollyhock, to enttr l. d. 

Mrs. B. Prepare yourself for a surprise, Sigrior. The 
young lady you are seeking is my daughter Florence. 

Tam. {surprised). Your daughter ? Da Vera ! Ma dio 
mio I The Signorina Fiorenza has the hair of gold, while 
the young lady of the picture is black on the top. {Gesture^ 

Mrs. B. That is easily explained. The artist took the 
liberty of changing her hair. 

Tam. {suspiciously). Wait one moment. {Cunningly^ 
In the picture there is one large, immense, big dog. {Ges 
ture^ 

Mrs. B. Our mastiff, Max. You can see him at out 
place in the country whenever you please. 

Tam. {delighted, and writing). Then it is all right. Ah, 
Signora, my heart is breaking out with joy. I telegraph at 
once. His lordship will break out with joy, too. {Pantomime 



Or^ Casting the Boomerang. 89 

of suitor in ecstasy — struck by picture and asking hand^ All 
is well — I fly' — I telegraph. (Bows himself half up the 
stage.) Signora, Illustrissima I Signora — Ornamentissima I 
{EXIT, L. c.) 

Mrs. B. {rising). That affair is properly inaugurated. 
I'll see that it is properly terminated. I'll have my way this 
time. {Goes up Vi.) 

ENTER Bargiss and Hollyhock, l. d. 

Hollyhock {peeping in). The coast is clear. {Coming 
forward.) 

Bargiss {peeping in). Are you sure ? {Coming forward.) 

HoL. {turns, and sees Mrs. Bargiss, who turns and glares 
atboth). I — I — I — 

Bar. Oh, Lord I {Stands hiding behind Hollyhock like 
a schoolboy^ 

[Mrs. Bargiss stands a moment measuring them with 
her glance ; then sails down r. 

Bar. {nudging Hollyhock). Say something. Go for her. 

Hol. {advancing timidly, and in a plaintive voice). Mam- 
ma, mamma! 

Mrs. B. {turning). What is your business with me, sir ? 

Hol. I have a particular favor to ask, mamma. 

Bar. {timidly). So have I, Hypatia. 

Mrs. B. {crosses to Bargiss). You and I will have an 
understanding, by and by. {To Hollyhock.) What do you 
wish, sir? 

Hol. (r.). I would like to see my wife, if it's not incon- 
venient. , 

Mrs. B. (c). Indeed! Pray, do you think it necessary 
. to ask my permission to speak with your wife ? 

Hol. Yes, mamma. 

Mrs. B. Undeceive yourself, sir. I will announce your 
presence to my daughter myself. {Goes to door up stage, r., 
and knocks^ 



90 Seven -Twenty - Eight ; 

Bar. Now, my darling ! {Taps her on the shoulder. She 
looks at him freezingly. He starts away alarmed^ staggers 
over to desk l,, and buries his face in the papers^ 

Mrs. B. {knocking again. Calls icily). Dora ! 

Mrs. H. {partly opening door, r. 3 e.). What, mamma. 

Mrs. B. The person whom your father selected for your 
husband wishes to see you. 

[Mrs. Hollyhock slams the door and a bolt is 
heard to shoot. 
You hear that ? 

HoL. (c). What was it ? 

Mrs. B. My daughter has bolted her door on the inside. 
That is your answer. 

{READ V Mrs. Hollyhock, to enter r. 3 e. 

HoL. {crosses to R. ; goes resolutely to door). With your 
permission, I will see about that. 

Mrs. B. You will find she has a strength of character 
inherited from her mother {a piercing glance at Bargiss, who 
groans and writhes in his chair), impervious to persuasion. 

Bar. Oh 1 

HoL. {coolly). What is she going to do ? 

Mrs. B. Remain a prisoner while she is compelled to 
stay under the same roof with you. 

HoL. {with mock emotion). Then all is over? 

Mrs. B. {going up c). All. 

Bar. {beseechingly). Hypatia ! 

Mrs. B. {quickly). What, sir ? 

Bar. {groans). Nothing ! {Buries his face in his hands at 
desk L.) 

Mrs. B. All that is over. {EXIT, l. c.) 

HoL. {who has stood crushed until she is out of hearing, 
returns quickly to the door and calls). Dora ! {Knocks.) 
Dora, it is I — she's gone. 

[Mrs. Hollyhock opens the door and peeps out, smiling. 

Mrs. Hollyhock. Are you sure ? 



Ot, Castingf the Boomerang, 9t 

HoL. Yes. 

Mrs. H. {bounding into his arms). Dear Paul 1 

HoL. My sweet, good wife ! 

Bar. (at desk, astonished). How did you manage that? 
I wish you'd tell me the way. 

HoL. (c). We made it up last night. Didn't we, darling ? 
{Kisses her.) I wouldn't let her go to sleep with a single 
suspicion or misgiving. 

Bar. (l., advancing). My wife wouldn't let me put in a 
word. I never passed such a Polar night. 

Mrs. H. (to Bargiss). Mamma mustn't know we are 
reconciled, just yet. (^Crosses to c.) She worked on me so, 
that I made a solemn promise to despise Paul. 

[READ Y Mrs. Bargiss, with letter, to enter l. c. 

HoL. But I wouldn't be despised, would I ? (Kisses 
her.) 

Bar. Don't you know she may come back at any mo- 
ment ? 

Mrs. H. Then you must watch out for us. 

Bar. What will they do with me next ? What a draught 
there is in this place ! (Goes up, wraps a shawl over his 
head and shoulders, and sits at door, L. c, the picture of 
misery^ 

HoL. (embracing her). Now we are safe. 

Mrs. H. You act just as if nothing had happened 

HoL. Nothing particular has happened. It was only 
one folly. That young man is a wizard. My time came to_ 
make a fool of myself, and I did it. I shied my little boom- 
erang, and it came back on me. 

Mrs. H. And you will never again ? 

HoL. Never again. (Kisses her.) 

Bar. (suddenly). She's coming. 

[Hollyhock and Mrs. Hollyhock separate. He 
runs to door l. She to door r. They conceal 
themselves. 



^ Seven -Twenty -Eigfht J 

HoL. i^just over the threshold). I say, Dora. 

Mrs. H. (the same). Yes, Paul. 

Bar. Here she is. \^They both close their doors. 

Mrs. Bargiss sails in, l. c, and passes Bargiss, who makes a 
mute appeal. She goes to the desk and puts a letter which 
she has brought into an envelope, and addresses it. Bar- 
giss comes down to her after some hesitatioh. 

Bar. My darling 1 

Mrs. Bargiss {at desky not looking at him). I wish to give 
you notice that after to-day you must take your meals at a 
hotel. 

Bar. But, Hypatia — 

Mrs. B. I leave for home, with my children, this evening. 

Bar. What's to become' of me ? 

Mrs. B. You will be free to pursue your literary studies 
and collect your materials wherever and whenever you 
please. (Crosses to R.) My duty is to spare my children 
the disgrace of seeing their father degrade himself and 
them. 

Bar. Now what have I done ? 

Mrs. B. (sobbing). And to think this should happen on 
the very day I had promised myself so much happiness i 
When I had such a surprise in store for you ! 

Bar. Don't, Hypatia ! You make me crawl. 

Mrs. B. (^producing the book of sonnets). Here, take it. 
My pleasure is spoiled, anyway. 

Bar. (examining cover of book). What is this? 

[Mrs. Bargiss turns away, sobbing and wiping her 
eyes. Hollyhock opens his door and takes a step 
or two out. but sees Mrs. Bargiss and retreats. ' ' 

Hollyhock. O Lord ! , , 

Bar. (^puts on spectacles and reads). " Sonnets to a 

Fiancee, by Launcelot Bargiss." (Looks at her.) Sonnets ? 

What sonnets ? 



Or^ Gisting the Boomo'ang'* 93 

Mrs. B. {occasional sois). They are poems you sent me 
when we were engaged. 

Bar. (l.). Heavens! You had those things printed 
under my name ? 

{READ Y Corliss, with hat, to enter l. c. 

Mrs. B. Yes. In secret, to give you a surprise. They 
are now for sale all over the city. 

Bar. {reels to chair, l.). Woman 1 It's all over ; I am lost. 

Mrs. B. {startled, c). Why so ? What is the matter ? 

Bar. Those things are not mine. 

Mrs. B. Not yours ? 

Bar. They were selections from Shakespeare, Jonson, 
Tennyson, Byron, Scott, everybody. 

Mrs. B. Then you deceived me even at that happy period 

Bar. Deceived you? Confound it, don't everybody 
quote poetry when they're in love. Who'd ever dream that 
you'd send that infernal collection to a printer, and put my 
name to it. Now I am done for. 

Mrs. B. Launcelot ! I meant it for the best. 

Bar. Oh, you've done it for the worst. I shall be the 
laughing-stock of the city. {Jumps up.) Where's my coat 
and hat ? 

Mrs. B. Where are you going ? 

Bar. To the bookstores, to the printer's, to the news- 
stands, to the type-founders, to stop them. 

\_She helps him on with hat and coat as 

Corliss ENTERS, l. c. 

Corliss. Ah! there you are. I'm most fortunate — if I 
may have the pleasure of a few minutes — 

Bar. Excuse me. I'm busy ! Talk to my wife. Where 
can I get a cab ? 

Cor. But — 

Bar. Can't attend to an)rthing now. I'm boomeranged. 
{EXIT, L. c.) 



94 Seven -Twenty - Eight ; 

[Mrs. Bargiss totters down and sinks into a chair. 
Hollyhock makes a few steps out as before. Re- 
treats again. 

Mrs. B. (l.). Oh, if he's only in time ' 

\_READ Y Flossy, to enter r. i d. 

Cor. (observing all this with a puzzled air, now approaches 
Mrs. Bargiss, hat in hand, somewhat embarrassed^. My dear 
madam, I owe you an apology for the unceremonious and 
abrupt manner in which 1 took my departure last night. 

Mrs. B. (who has recovered, rises from desk). I think we 
had better not refer to last night's performances. 

[Corliss hides his head in his hat. 
Still, as I presume you have come here to repeat your pro- 
posal for my daughter in a respectable manner, you are 
entitled to a serious answer. That answer is — No 1 Under 
no circumstances — No 1 

Cor. (quickly). Madam I 

Mrs. B. Enough, sir. {Crosses to r.) I have other views 
for Florence, and I shall not permit them to be interfered 
with by any person. 

Cor. Very well, madam. Very well. But I have rea- 
sons for not relinquishing my hopes. 

Mrs. B. Indeed ! I suppose you think my daughter may 
have ideas on the subject different from mine. I'll con- 
vince you of the contrary very soon. {Goes to door, r. h,, 
and calls.) Florence, step here a moment. 

Cor. (aside, l.). That's all I want. 

ENTER Flossy, r. i d. 

Flossy. Here I am, mamma. (Starts on seeing Corliss.) 
You didn't tell me — 

Mrs. B. My dear, this gentleman has proposed for youi 
hand. 

Flos, (lowering her eyes). Indeed 1 



Of, Casting the Boomerang* 95 

Mrs. B. (c). I have informed him that I have other 
plans regarding you. 

[Flossy makes a gesture of entreaty, aside. 
And I am resolved to select my second son-in-law myself. 
I believe I informed you of this last night, and you acqui- 
esced. Is this true ? 

Flos, {eyes on floor). Yes, mamma. 

[Hollyhock and Mrs. Hollyhock steal out of 

their respective rooms and exchange eager signs with 

each other. Mrs. Hollyhock points warningly 

to her mother. 

Mrs. B. And yet Mr. Corliss thought he might be able 

to test your filial duty in a personal interview. 

Flos, (^pretending severity^. I will never do anything 
mamma does not approve of, Mr. Corliss. (Crosses to him.) 
Hollyhock (eagerly, across to his wife). I must tell you 
something. 

[Mrs. Bargiss overhears him, and turns to the side 

he is on. Mrs. 'Hoia^yhocyl flies back to her room. 

Mrs. B. What are you doing here ? (^Goes up and looks 

Hol. I, oh, oh, nothing. {Goes towards his room.) 
Flos, (quickly to Corliss, while her mother^ s back is turned). 
I'm only pretending. I'm on your side. {Crowding him 
into corner.) 

Cor. My angel ! 

Mrs. B. {turns and interrupts them. They resjime posi- 
tions). My eldest daughter, Mr. Corliss, married against my 
advice. Look at the result. 

{The moment Mrs. Bargiss has Jurned down the 

stage, Mrs. Hollyhock and Hollyhock embrace, 

c, and kiss at the end of Mrs. Bargiss's speech. 

She does not look. 

Cor. (c. ; turns, back to audience; looks up stage; beholds 

the embrace). The result is horrible ! Horrible 1 



96 Seven -Twenty - Eight ; 

Mrs. B. Is it not ? Here are two married people sepa- 
rated, perhaps forever. Had she listened — had she taken 
my advice — 

[Mrs. Hollyhock is struggling to get away from 
Hollyhock's arms. 
Flos. Don't excite yourself, mamma. I'm going to be 
good. {She darts to window and looks out^ snatching a rose 
from vase, l.) 

Mrs. B. You are my only comfort. While your sister — 
{Turns slowly up stage.) 

[Hollyhock and Mrs. Hollyhock separate. He 
walks up stage dejectedly. She flings herself into a 
chair — eying him scornfully. 
Cor. {crosses to Flossy. Kisses her hand). Won't you 
give me that rose "i 

Flos. (l.). I can't. Mamma is watching. 

\_READY'2tK^Gi's>s and Jessie, with basket of books, 
to enter l. c. 
Cor. Do, now quick. 

\She is about to give it. Mrs. Bargiss having 
reached Mrs. Hollyhock's side, Corliss and 
Flossy fly apart. 
Mrs. B. I will not blame you, Dora. You are doing 
your duty. Come to my heart, my poor, deceived child. 
{jPraws her to her side.) Flossy! {Tenderly.) 

[Flossy goes to her mother, hiding the rose in her 

hand. 

This is a sad day for a mother, my children. We have only 

ourselves to lean upon and look up to. {She is c. of group.) 

[Flossy gives CoRLfts the rose. He kisses her hand. 

Hollyhock kisses Mrs. Hollyhock's hand on 

the other side. 

I {She comes down, releasing her daughters to the gentlemen, 

\ 3ut'not observing the fact.) And now, gentlemen, we will not 

detain you any longer. My daughters have been brought 



Or, Casting the Boomerang^. 97 

up to obey their parents — or to speak more properly at the 
present time — one of their parents — and that one — (She 
turns near the door.) 

\_The groups fly apart into different positions. 
Hollyhock throws himself into a chair up stage, 
R. Flossy into chair, l. c. Mrs. Hollyhock, 
R. c. Corliss at piano, l. 
That one is their mother. (EXIT, r. i d.) 

\_All resume group. 
HoL. Mamma is sublime. 
Mrs. H. For shame, Paul ! 

\_He embraces her as they go up. 
Flos, (shaking her head as she comes forward with Cor- 
liss). No. Arguments avail nothing for the present. 
Leave it to me. I'll win her over by degrees. 

Cor. I'm sure you will. (Hugging her in rapture^ You 
darling ! [Mrs. Bargiss reappears in door. 

Mrs. Bargiss. Florence ! 

Flos. Yes, mamma. (Sails into room after Mrs. Bar- 
giss, and kisses her hand to Corliss as she gets to door.) 

[Mrs. Hollyhock, meanwhile, has flown to her 
room, with Hollyhock before her. 
Cor. Victory ! Victory ! 

[ Goes up waving his hat, and meets 

Bargiss who ENTERS, with Jessie, l. c. They bring in 

a huge clothes-basket laden with books, " Sonnets to a 

Fiancee." 

Bargiss. Set it down here. Now, go down to the wagon 

and bring up the rest. Put 'em all in my study. 

[EXIT ] ESSIE, L. c. 

(Bargiss takes off his hat and overcoat ; wipes perspiration 
from his brow.) Thank heaven, I stopped them before they 
left the binder's. \^READ Y Gasleigh, to enter l. c. 

Cor. What have you been buying ? 

Bar. (getting c). My complete works. The whole 



98 Seven -Twenty - Eight ; 

edition. {Takes Corliss's hand.) My young friend, your 
words have come true. I have made a fool of myself. Not 
once, but half a dozen times. It's just as you said. The 
boomerang has come back on me. 

RE-EN2'ER Mrs. Bargiss, r. i d. 

Mrs. Bargiss {anxiously). Were you in time ? 

Bar. Yes, fortunately they hadn't gone out yet. {Crosses 
to C. ; wipes his forehead^ I've had a pleasant afternoon of 
it. 

Mrs. B. (r., soothing). Then there's no harm done. 

Bar. Not much. Though I'm done. But my eyes are 
open at last. I'm done with poetry. 

Mrs. B. But your society novel t 

Bar. We'll light the fire with it. 

Mrs. B. (r.). And your other works ? 

Bar. Rubbish. 

Mrs. B. And your play ? 

Bar. We'll keep that, and I'll read it to you when we 
get back to the country. {Turns away to l. c.) 

ENTER Gasleigh, l. c, with a jubilant hooray. 

Gasleigh. Victoria ! Victoria ! My friend, let me em- 
brace you. The deed is done. The day is won. My dear 
madam, I bring you something like news. 

Bar. (l. c, interrupts him, pointing to Corliss). You re- 
member what our young friend said about making an ass of 
Due's self .-^ 

Gas. {crosses to Corliss). Our young boomerang friend 
— oh, yes. 

Mrs. B. What's the news ? 

Gas. {crosses to Mrs. Bargiss). The " Sonnets to a 
Fiancee " have met with a gigantic success — had an im- 
mense sale already — immense. 

Bar. No ! 



Of, Casting: the Boomcrangf, 99 

Gas. I have just come from the printers, and they tell 
me the whole edition was sold out an hour ago. A single 
buyer took the whole lot. 

Bar. Quite correct. I bought it. There it is. {Point- 
ing to basket and books ^ 

Gas. You ? (Crosses to L. c.) 

Bar. Who else would pay good money for such rub- 
bish ? 

Gas. Rubbish ? 

Bar. You've printed under my name a selection of the 
best things from Shakespeare, Tennyson, Byron, Scott, and 
all the stars in the literary firmament. 

Cor. I say, Gasleigh. (Crosses to Gasleigh.) Boom- 
erang. (Laughs quietly.') 

Gas. You were right, young man. You were right. I've 
done it, too. (Sinks into chair, r. c.) 

Bar. And the " Scattered Leaflets " ? 

Gas. (calmly, but heroically'). Are scattered forever. 

Mrs. B. How's that ? 

Gas. My theories were fallacious. We were simply ex- 
posing vanity and mediocrity to public scorn. (Starting up.) 
We must take the other track. (Cojijidentially.) I have an 
idea. Let us start a paper to crush the amateur poets — 
the poetical ring. We'll call it the "Waste Basket," and 
put 'em all in it. 

Bar. (edging off). I'll take one copy for a week, and 
longer, if it lasts. But as for literature, I'm done. My 
epitaph shall be — gone to meet so many more. (Goes up 
to Mrs. Bargiss, r. c.) Neat, eh ? 

Gas. Then, ha, ha, ha ! You give up. I'm sorry to lose 
you. You wrote good enough poetry for me, my good 
friend. " National Bank. Pay to the order of. Three hun- 
dred dollars." Those are the words that stir- all men's 
souls. Well, by-by. No other way, eh ? 

Bar. (r. c). Only one way. The way out. 



1 00 Seven -Twenty - Eight ; 

Gas. pa, ha ! Very good. Very good. Well, so long. 
Good-by, Shakespeare. (£X/7] l. c.) 

Bar. Good-by, sweetheart, good-by. (To Corliss.) I 
believe I am thoroughly recovered from my flight of folly, 
and capable of taking a common-sense view of the common- 
place world. What was it you wanted to say to me as I was 
going out a while ago ? (Pu/s his hand affectionately on Cor- 
liss's shoulder^ 

Cor. Oh, I had merely come to ask for the hand of your 
daughter. 

{READ V to enter ^ Jessie, l. c. ; Flossy, r. id.; 
Hollyhock afid Mrs. Hollyhock, r. 3 e. ; Tam- 
BORiNi, 7vith sealed telegram, l. c. 

Bar. (c, gravely). Did you speak to her mother ? 

Mrs. B. (r.). He did — and I felt it my duty to decline. 
I have nothing against Mr. Corliss, but I have other views 
for Florence. ( With emphasis^ The happiness of my 
daughter is concerned, and I mean to see that we make 
{looking at Corliss) no blunder about that. 

Bar. {aside to Corliss, l.). That sounds bad. What do 
you think of it ? 

CoR. {aside to Bargiss). I think she is casting her little 
boomerang. 

Bar. It's all nonsense. {To Mrs. Bargiss.) What have 
you got in hand, now ? No more surprises, I hope. 

Mrs. B. {knowingly). Perhaps, my dear. 

Bar. What is it? 

Mrs. B. I can whisper this much. If Lcan't be the wife 
of a poet, I may be the mother-in-law of an earl. 

Bar. Hypatia Victoria Bargiss ! The events of the 
morning have unsettled your reason. What earl? 

Mrs. B. Lord Lawntennis has seen Florence's portrait, 
and intends to make her his wife. 

ENTER Jessie, l. c. 



Of, Castmgf the Boomerang* 101 

Jessie. Mr. Tamborini, ma'am. May he come up? 

ENTER Flossy, r. i d. Hollyhock and Mrs. Holly- 
hock steal on, r. 3 D. 

Mrs. B. Let him enter. {To Flossy.) Ah, my child. 

ENTER Tamborini, l. c, waving a sealed telegram over his 

head jubilantly. 

Tamborini. Signora, it is come. {Suddenly sees others 
and bows?) Signorine ! Signori 1 {Resuming jubilation^ 
It is here. The answer — the message. 

Mrs. B. {crosses to Tamborini). From his lordship ? For 
me ? 

Tam. Si, Signora. 

Mrs. B. {putting on glasses and opening it). Let me see. 

Cor. {gets beside Flossy, r. c). You'll stand by me ? 

Flos. (r.). If there were a thousand lords against us. 

Mrs. B. {has read the telegram ; screams, crumples it up, and 
falls into a chair). Oh ! Oh ! 

All. What is it ? 

[Mrs. Bargiss starts up and throws the telegram on 
theJlooK Bargiss picks it up and smooths it out. 

Tam. {following Mrs. Bargiss up and down). But, Si- 
gnora ! What is the matter ? 

Mrs. B. {fiercely). Out of my sight, reptile. 

Tam. {recoils). Diavalo / Ma dio mio / 

Bar. {having read the telegram, blows his nose, replaces 
handkerchief, and crosses to Corliss). I guess you can have 
her. {To Mrs. Bargiss.) Can't he, my dear ? 

Mrs. B. {laying her head on Bargiss's shoulder). O 
Launcelot ! I am ashamed of myself. 

Bar. {soothingly). There, there. No harm. It was — 
ahem — only another proof that our young friend was right. 
We all make fools of ourselves sooner or later. Your turn 
came rather late. {Gives telegram to Flossy.) You may like 



102 Seven -Twenty - Eight j 

to read his lordship's proposal, my love. {Gives telegram, 
and crosses to r.) 

[Mrs. Bargiss gets next to him. Flossy getting c, 
followed by Corliss. Tamborini all ears. 

Flos, {reads). " Dear madam : — If the portrait number 
728 was that of your daughter, pardon this means of com- 
munication, and permit me to make you an offer. If the 
dog in the picture is for sale, I'll pay you whatever price you 
name for him. Lawntennis." 

Tam. Vat is dat ? De tog ! Oh, ciel ! I kill myself. O 
Signorini, I kill myself. {Throws himself at the feet of 
Flossy, and in pantomime gives himself several imaginary 
stabs ; then bounds «/>.) I will not live. I will die. Oh, oh ! 
{Doubles himself up on chair at back and remains stupefied till 
end.) 

Flos, {to Corliss). Will you have me now.> You know 
I'm not such a prize, after being jilted by an earl. 

Cor. Let his lordship have the dog. I take the lady, if 
she'll take me. 

Flos. Take you ! 

« 

" If in the works of nature you would find 
Eternal fitness, women should be kind." 

Cor. {taking her hand). 

And yet how many play a tyrant's part, 
Betray a worshipper, or break a heart, 
"With gracious flattery will turn and bend 
To court a stranger, yet will kill a friend. 

IRE AD Y curtain. 
Flos, {to audience; her hand lingering in that of Co^iass). 

Dear girlhood friends. 

We'll be not like them ! Though we cannot choose. 

But some must sue whose suit we must refuse ; 



Of^ Casting the Boomerang* 103 

io base a pride let none upon us prove, 
As craves a hundred lovers — not one love. 
Wear for your jewel, 'tis a friend's advice. 
Not a string of pebbles, but one gem of price. 
Fear not to marry one who loves, for know, 
Tho' woman be not perfect, love is so. 

{RING curtain 
CURTAINo 



■ ■• ■•\--:v,v'-^ 'vx'y-S .'■ ■•■ '-■■-■ 



.■'\\^P^'*^■•'^/ .' ' "^ 



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